The Pronk Pops Show 1400, February 21, 2020, Story 1: Send in the Clowns — Mini Mike Bloomberg Busted High Hopes — My Way or The Highway — Videos — Story 2: Roger Stone Sentenced To 40 Months in Prison For Lying To Congress in A Political Prosecution — Jury Foreperson Was Biased Trump Hating Democratic Activist — Miscarriage of Justice — Conviction Should Be Vacated — Videos — Story 3: The Real Threat Is Influenza Viruses Not Novel Coronavirus- Videos –Story 4: President Trump Holds Keep America Great Rally In Las Vegas — 500 Miles of Border Barrier in 2021 — Videos

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Bloomberg Booster StoolSee the source image

See the source imageNinety-nine per cent of cases have been in China, where tens of millions of residents are in lockdown to contain the escalating crisis. The COVID-19 virus has killed at least 1,873 peopleSee the source image

 

Story 1: Send in the Clowns — Mini Mike Bloomberg Busted High Hopes — My Way or The Highway — Videos

See the source imageSee the source imageSee the source imageBloomberg The Farmer

Judy Collins Send in the Clowns

Send in the Clowns

Judy Collins

Isn’t it rich?
Are we a pair?
Me here at last on the ground,
You in mid-air,
Where are the clowns?
Isn’t it bliss?
Don’t you approve?
One who keeps tearing around,
One who can’t move,
Where are the clowns?
There ought to be clowns?
Just when I’d stopped opening doors,
Finally knowing the one that I wanted was yours
Making my entrance again with my usual flair
Sure of my lines
No one is there
Don’t you love farce?
My fault, I fear
I thought that you’d want what I want
Sorry, my dear!
But where are the clowns
Send in the clowns
Don’t bother, they’re here
Isn’t it rich?
Isn’t it queer?
Losing my timing this late in my career
But where are the clowns?
There ought to be clowns
Well, maybe next year
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Stephen Sondheim
Send in the Clowns lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc

The Democratic Debate in About a Minute

Tucker: Bloomberg paid to be humiliated

Ingraham: Why Bloomberg is failing

Ari Fleischer gives Bloomberg these debate tips

Everything Mike Bloomberg Said at the Las Vegas Democratic Debate | NBC New York

Bernie Sanders and Michael Bloomberg spar at the open of the Democratic debate

Warren attacks Bloomberg over sexist comments and non-disclosure agreements

Mike Bloomberg at Tonight’s Debate | Mike Bloomberg for President

Frank Sinatra — High Hopes

“High Hopes” Frank Sinatra

Frank Sinatra – My Way (Live At Madison Square Garden, 1974)

And now the end is near
And so I face the final curtain
My friend, I’ll say it clear,
I’ll state my case of which I’m certain.
I’ve lived a life that’s full,
I travelled each and every highway,
And more, much more than this,
I did it My Way.
Regrets, I’ve had a few,
But then again too few to mention
Did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption
Planned each charted course
Each careful step along the byway
And more, much more than this,
I did it My Way.
Yes there were times, I’m sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall
And did it My Way.
I’ve loved,
I’ve laughed and cried,
I’ve had my fill, my share of losing
And now as tears subside
I find it all so amusing
To think I did all that
And may I say not in a shy way
Oh no, oh no not me
I did it My Way
For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught.
To say the things he truly feels;
And not the words of one who kneels.
The record shows
I took the blows –
And did it my way!
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Claude Francois / Gilles Thibaut / Jacques Revaux / Paul Anka
My Way lyrics © Warner Chappell Music France, Jeune Musique Editions, BMG Rights Management, Concord Music Publishing LLC

Calvin Harris – My Way (Official Video)

My Way

Calvin Harris

Why wait to say
At least I did it my way
Lie awake, two faced
But in my heart I understand
I made my move
And it was all about you
Now I feel so far removed
You were the one thing in my way
You were the one thing in my way
You were the one thing in my way
You were the one thing in my way
You were the one thing in my way
You were the one thing in my way
My way, oh way, oh way, oh way
My way, oh way, oh way, oh way
My way, oh way, oh way, oh way
My way, oh way, oh way, oh way
My way
My way
My way
Why wait to say
At least I did it my way
Lie awake, two faced
But in my heart I understand
I made my move
And it was all about you
Now I feel so far removed
You were the one thing in my way
You were the one thing in my way
You were the one thing in my way
You were the one thing in my way
You were the one thing in my way
You were the one thing in my way
My way, oh way, oh way, oh way
My way, oh way, oh way, oh way
My way, oh way, oh way, oh way
My way, oh way, oh way, oh way
My way
You were the one thing in my way
You were the one thing in my way
You were the one thing in my way
You were the one thing in my way
You were the one thing in my way
You were the one thing in my way
My way, oh way, oh way, oh way
My way, oh way, oh way, oh way
My way, oh way, oh way, oh way
My way, oh way, oh way, oh way
My way
My way, oh way, oh way, oh way
My way, oh way, oh way, oh way
My way, oh way, oh way, oh way
My way, oh way, oh way, oh way
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Calvin Harris
My Way lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Mike Bloomberg is declared the LOSER of the Democratic debate after his disastrous start and relentless attacks – while Warren and Sanders come away the winners

  • Pundits declared Bloomberg the loser of Wednesday night’s debate in Las Vegas 
  • Senators Warren and Sanders were declared the top two winners of the debate  
  • Warren attacked Bloomberg over the treatment of women at his company 
  • Sanders criticized the former NYC mayor over his past stop and frisk policy 
  • Pete Buttigieg was also declared a winner, while Biden and Klobuchar lost out 

 

Mike Bloomberg has been declared the loser of Democratic debate after Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders relentlessly attacked the former New York mayor over his past ‘racist’ policies and treatment of women.

Six candidates took the stage Wednesday night in Las Vegas to face-off for a 5-to-1 face-off that ended disastrously for Bloomberg.

Pundits chose Bloomberg as the loser after he became the object of scorn, ridicule and contempt within the first five minutes of the debate.

What is becoming an increasingly bitter nomination fight, the Democratic presidential candidates focused their attacks on Bloomberg on the debate stage.

He has spent more than $400 million so far on advertising that in turn has given him strong standing in state and national polls.

Sanders recalled Bloomberg’s support of stop-and-frisk policing targeting minorities while Warren spoke about how Bloomberg had mocked women.

‘I’d like to talk about who we’re running against, a billionaire who calls women fat broads and horse-faced lesbians,’ Warren said.

Pundits chose Bloomberg as the loser of Wednesday night's debate after he became the object of scorn, ridicule and contempt within the first five minutes

Pundits chose Bloomberg as the loser of Wednesday night’s debate after he became the object of scorn, ridicule and contempt within the first five minutes

Six candidates took the stage Wednesday night in Las Vegas to face-off for a 5-to-1 face-off that ended disastrously for Bloomberg

Six candidates took the stage Wednesday night in Las Vegas to face-off for a 5-to-1 face-off that ended disastrously for Bloomberg

‘And no I’m not talking about Donald Trump, I’m talking about Mayor Bloomberg.’

Amy Klobuchar also quipped that, ‘I don’t think you look at Donald Trump and say I think we need someone richer in the White House’.

Former Vice President Joe Biden said Bloomberg condoned racist police practices, and Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, said Bloomberg was trying to ‘buy out’ the Democratic Party.

But his biggest struggle came when Warren hammered him over allegations of sexism and mistreatment of women in his company.

Bloomberg attempted to defend his record and deflect the attacks on him by turning them into attacks on President Donald Trump.

And he effectively raised questions about whether Americans would embrace a socialist like Sanders.

CNN's Chris Cillizza compared Bloomberg's performance to that of a pro-wrestling match where 'everyone decided to gang up on a single wrestler in the ring - and that wrestler was totally and completely caught off-guard'

Cillizza also said the 'first hour of the debate was an absolute and total disaster for the former mayor' who was also the third most tweeted about candidate Wednesday night

Cillizza also said the ‘first hour of the debate was an absolute and total disaster for the former mayor’ who was also the third most tweeted about candidate Wednesday night

But the glare was harsh, and the attacks landed with force. Even if you are worth $60billion it is hard to win a 5-on-1 fight.

CNN’s Chris Cillizza said the ‘first hour of the debate was an absolute and total disaster for the former mayor’.

‘He looked lost at times – and those were the best times for him! Warren dunked on him repeatedly. Sanders slammed him. Biden bashed him,’ Cillizza wrote.

Cillizza compared Bloomberg’s performance to that of a pro-wrestling match where ‘everyone decided to gang up on a single wrestler in the ring – and that wrestler was totally and completely caught off-guard’.

ELIZABETH WARREN: RETURN OF THE FIGHTER (WINNER)

Warren rose to prominence in the Democratic field with a fighting spirit that defined the early months of her campaign. But her disappointing showings in Iowa and New Hampshire left her campaign struggling.

But on Wednesday, Warren got back in the fight.

She slammed Bloomberg – which was no surprise as she’s been an antagonist of billionaires playing in politics for years.

But Warren also attacked Klobuchar, saying her health care plan was just a ‘Post-it note’.

She accused Buttigieg of being in debt to his rich campaign supporters and having a healthcare plan that was just a ‘PowerPoint’ designed by his consultants.

Warren rose to prominence in the Democratic field with a fighting spirit that defined the early months of her campaign. But her disappointing showings in Iowa and New Hampshire left her campaign struggling. But on Wednesday, Warren got back in the fight

Warren rose to prominence in the Democratic field with a fighting spirit that defined the early months of her campaign. But her disappointing showings in Iowa and New Hampshire left her campaign struggling. But on Wednesday, Warren got back in the fight

Warren slammed also fellow liberal Sanders, accusing him of letting his supporters trash anyone with a plan. But it was her prosecutorial approach to Bloomberg over his company’s treatment of women that stood out.

She hit the former mayor hard when it came to his refusal to release women from the nondisclosure agreements with his company regarding complaints of a hostile working environment.

Warren was relentless, leaving the former mayor stumbling and fumbling for a response.

‘Anybody that does anything wrong in our company, we investigate it and if it’s appropriate, they’re gone that day,’ Bloomberg said.

‘Let me tell you what I do at my company and my foundation and in city government when I was there. In my foundation, the person that runs it is a woman, 70 per cent of the people there are women,’ he added.

She slammed Bloomberg - which was no surprise as she's been an antagonist of billionaires playing in politics for years. But Warren also attacked Klobuchar, saying her health care plan was just a 'Post-it note'

‘In my company, lots and lots of women have big responsibilities. They get paid exactly the same as men. In city hall, the top person, my deputy mayor was a woman and 40 per cent of our commissioners were women,’ he said.

Warren then hit him harder.

‘I hope you heard what his defense was. I’ve been nice to some women. That just doesn’t cut it. The mayor has to stand on his record. What we need to know is exactly what’s lurking out there,’ she said.

‘He has gotten some number of women, dozens, who knows, who sign nondisclosure agreements both for sexual harassment and for gender discrimination in the workplace.

Van Jones tweeted about Warren shortly after the debate, saying: ‘Elizabeth Warren needs Bloomberg like a “lion needs an antelope.” He is the human embodiment of everything she’s against. If @ewarren is effective at landing those blows, the air could very well come out of the Bloomberg bubble.’

BERNIE SANDERS: LEADING THE PACK (WINNER)

Sanders has continuously tried to cement himself as the Democratic frontrunner, and he may have just pulled that off, according to some pundits.

‘The ganging-up on Bloomberg was just fine for Sanders, who, in case you forgot, is the clear front-runner for the Democratic nomination,’ Cillizza wrote.

Before Wednesday night, Sanders has been hammering Bloomberg for weeks for trying to buy the election, though at a CNN town hall Tuesday night he wouldn’t guarantee he wouldn’t take Bloomberg’s money, which the billionaire candidate promised to the Democratic nominee, should he not be chosen for the job himself.

‘I don’t think we’re going to need that money,’ Sanders eventually said.

Sanders has sprung to the lead for the nomination in the RealClearPolitics polling average on the race with Biden in second and Bloomberg in third.

Sanders has continuously tried to cement himself as the Democratic frontrunner, and he may have just pulled that off, according to some pundits

Sanders has continuously tried to cement himself as the Democratic frontrunner, and he may have just pulled that off, according to some pundits

Sanders and Bloomberg locked horns on political philosophy during the debate, arguing over who’s a communist and who’s a socialist.

Bloomberg was defending his net worth, pointing out he earned it through ‘hard work’ and that he was giving his money away when Sanders argued the workers helped make that money.

‘Mr Bloomberg, it wasn’t you who made all that money. Maybe your workers played some role in that as well,’ Sanders said.

‘And it is important those workers are able to share the benefits also. When we have so many people who go to work every day and they feel not good about their jobs.

‘They feel like cogs in a machine. I want workers to be able to sit on corporate boards as well so they can have some say over what happens to their lives.’

MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG: THE GIFTED DEBATER (WINNER)

Some pundits crowned Buttigieg as one of Wednesday night’s winners.

‘Buttigieg is, without question, the most naturally gifted debater in the Democratic field, meaning he is simply not going to turn in a clunker. He was steady if not spectacular in this debate,’ Cillizza said.

According Cillizza, Buttigieg spent parts of the night taking on Sanders, which is a  ‘clear effort to send a signal to voters that he is the most credible alternative to the Vermont senator’.

Buttigieg, who finished in the top two in Iowa and New Hampshire with Sanders, reserved some of his harshest criticism for Sanders.

Some pundits crowned Buttigieg as one of Wednesday night's winners. Buttigieg, who finished in the top two in Iowa and New Hampshire with Sanders, reserved some of his harshest criticism for Sanders

Some pundits crowned Buttigieg as one of Wednesday night’s winners. Buttigieg, who finished in the top two in Iowa and New Hampshire with Sanders, reserved some of his harshest criticism for Sanders

He warned that Democrats could wake up after more than a dozen states vote on Super Tuesday on March 3 and have only Bloomberg and Sanders left on the ballot.

Buttigieg then quipped that the party may want to nominate ‘someone who is actually a Democrat’.

The crowd inside the Las Vegas casino hadn’t yet finished chuckling and hooting when he continued by saying Sanders ‘wants to burn this party down’ and Bloomberg ‘wants to buy this party out’.

Sanders, a senator from Vermont and avowed democratic socialist, responded by saying that Buttigieg’s campaign has been too reliant on ‘billionaire’ big donors, kicking off another intense exchange.

Their back and forth continued through criticism of Sanders supporters who have frequently been accused of bullying behavior online.

Sanders said he personally had denounced such behavior. This prompted Buttigieg to say he believed the senator but, ‘What it is it about your campaign in particular that seems to be motivating this type of behavior?’

On this night, Buttigieg had the most at stake, with Sanders standing in Nevada polls well ahead of the man who has run even with him in the first two contests.

AMY KLOBUCHAR: WHERE’S THE  KLOBENTUM? (LOSER)

The last debate was rocket fuel for Klobuchar. Her strong performance vaulted her to a third-place finish in New Hampshire and onto Nevada.

But it may be hard for lightning to strike twice.

The Minnesota senator was often drowned out in the high-octane bickering Wednesday, or pulled down into the mud.

At one point she pulled from her supply of ready quips, saying of Sanders and Bloomberg as they argued over capitalism that there is ‘a boxing rematch in Vegas on Saturday and these guys should go down there’.

The last debate was rocket fuel for Klobuchar. Her strong performance vaulted her to a third-place finish in New Hampshire and onto Nevada. But it may be hard for lightning to strike twice

The last debate was rocket fuel for Klobuchar. Her strong performance vaulted her to a third-place finish in New Hampshire and onto Nevada. But it may be hard for lightning to strike twice

The most damaging exchange was between Klobuchar and Buttigieg, who have tangled before.

When asked about her embarrassing gaffe in forgetting the name of Mexico’s president, she had to fend off Buttigieg, who claimed it disproved her argument that her work in Washington has prepared her to be president.

She also alternately scrapped with and aligned with Warren.

‘Are you calling me dumb?’ Klobuchar asked Buttigieg incredulously. Later, she added: ‘I wish everyone was as perfect as you, Pete.’

A little over a week ago in New Hampshire, Klobuchar clearly stood out. This time was much harder as everyone battled for survival.

FORMER VP JOE BIDEN: THE BYSTANDER (LOSER)

Another candidate in need of a big night to reverse perceptions that his campaign was struggling was Biden.

For a good portion of the debate, he receded. He joined in the attacks on Bloomberg, but largely avoided some of the more testy exchanges.

Biden called the stop and frisks ‘abhorrent’ and the former mayor admitted that it ‘got out of control’.

‘When we discovered – I discovered – that we were doing many, many – too many – stop and frisks, we cut 95 per cent of it out,’ Bloomberg asserted.

Another candidate in need of a big night to reverse perceptions that his campaign was struggling was Biden. For a good portion of the debate, he receded. He joined in the attacks on Bloomberg, but largely avoided some of the more testy exchanges

Another candidate in need of a big night to reverse perceptions that his campaign was struggling was Biden. For a good portion of the debate, he receded. He joined in the attacks on Bloomberg, but largely avoided some of the more testy exchanges

The former mayor said he is and was trying to ‘learn’ how to change policies to help continuing reduce crime in New York City.

Biden hit back at Bloomberg, claiming he couldn’t apologize it away and said it violated every right people posses.

‘Let’s get something straight. The reason that stop and frisk changed is because Barack Obama sent moderators to see what was going on. When we sent them there to say “this practice has to stop,” the mayor thought it was a terrible idea we send them there – a terrible idea,’ Biden said, invoking the name of one of the most famous Democrats.

‘It’s not whether he apologized or not, it’s the policy. The policy was abhorrent, and it was, in fact, a violation of every right people have,’ he said, claiming Bloomberg pushed back against stopping the policies.

‘He figured out it was a bad idea after we sent in monitors and said it must stop. Even then he continued the policy,’ Biden said on stage.

When Warren said that Biden was ‘in the pocket’ of Republican Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, Biden fought back.

He also tried to return to his ‘Middle Class Joe’ biography about his family’s financial struggles.

Biden did not offer voters any new rationale for voting for him.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8023581/Mike-Bloomberg-declared-loser-Democratic-debate.html

Story 2: Roger Stone Sentenced To 40 Months in Prison For Lying To Congress in A Political Prosecution — Jury Foreperson Was Biased Trump Hating Democratic Activist — Miscarriage of Justice — Conviction Should Be Vacated — Videos —

Trump: Jury forewoman in Roger Stone case was ‘totally tainted’

Trump speaks in Las Vegas at ceremony for former prisoners, says what happened to Roger Stone was unbelievable.

Gowdy: No one believes Russia prefers Trump over ‘comrade Sanders’

Robert Ray expects it will be months before Roger Stone’s fate is settled

ROGER STONE SENTENCED: Friend of President Trump Gets 3 Years in Prison

Napolitano explains why Roger Stone is ‘absolutely entitled’ to a new trial

‘The Five’ panel gets heated over Roger Stone trial

Roger Stone gets THREE YEARS and four months but will not go straight to prison while he asks for a retrial – as federal judge rejects prosecutors’ demand for nine years but savages Donald Trump for interfering and says Stone ‘covered up for the president’

  • Roger Stone, 67, arrived at Washington’s federal court with his wife Nydia for sentencing hearing Thursday
  • Federal judge Amy Berman Jackson said his punishment for lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstruction will be 40 months in prison
  • But because he is asking for a retrial over claims of bias by the jury foreperson, the sentence will not take effect
  • Berman Jackson, an Obama appointee, said she had rejected prosecutors’ demand  for nine years on her – not because of outside pressure
  • That was a reference to Trump, who had raged about the initial demand – and for whom a 40 month sentence can be portrayed as a win
  • Judge issued a stunning rebuke not just of Stone but of Donald Trump himself for trying to interfere in the case
  • Case has plunged attorney general Bill Barr into crisis as he pleaded with Donald Trump to stop tweeting about it – and president refused
  • Within an hour of his arrival, Trump was tweeting again about the case this time suggesting the prosecution was unfair 
  • He claimed James Comey had lied to Congress but was not prosecuted 
  • Trump called himself the nation’s ‘chief law enforcement officer,’ and Barr was reported to be considering resigning 

Roger Stone swerved a federal prison cell Thursday despite a judge slapping the longtime Donald Trump ally with a 40-month sentence for lying to Congress – and savaging not just him but the president.

Stone was convicted last fall of lying to lawmakers over his efforts to procure stolen Democratic Party emails from WikiLeaks in 2016 to boost Donald Trump’s chances of becoming President.

The self-declared political dirty trickster was spared immediate incarceration Thursday while U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson decides whether or not to grant his request for a retrial.

The sentence was far below the nine years demanded by the prosecution before that was over-ruled in a political tumult and furious tweets by Trump.

ROGER STONE DID A LOT WRONG: WHAT HE WAS CONVICTED OF

Roger Stone was found guilty on all charges of:

1. Obstruction of justice, lying to Congress and witness tampering by trying to get Randy Credico to lie to Congress. Sentenced to 40 months

2. Lying to Congress that he did not have emails or texts about Julian Assange. Sentenced to 12 months concurrent with the first count

3. Lying when he claimed his references to being in touch with Assange were actually about a ‘go-between’ – Randy Credico. Sentenced to 12 months concurrent with the first count

4. Lying that he didn’t ask his ‘go-between’ to communicate with Assange. Sentenced to 12 months concurrent with the first count

5. Lying that he didn’t text or email the ‘go-between’ about WikiLeaks. Sentenced to 12 months concurrent with the first count

6. Lying that he had never discussed conversation with his ‘go-between’ with anyone in the Trump campaign. Sentenced to 12 months concurrent with the first count

Instead she turned his sentencing hearing into a stunning rebuke not just of Stone but of the president himself, saying the prosecution was not brought by ‘political enemies,’ and that there was no ‘anti-Trump cabal’ at the hear of the case.

‘He was not prosecuted, as some have complained, for standing up for the president, he was prosecuted for covering up for the president,’ she said.

‘There was nothing unfair, phony or disgraceful about the investigation or the prosecution.’

Trump tweeted in rage against the prosecution accusing it of lacking ‘FAIRNESS’ as the hearing was under way in federal court in Washington D.C.

”They say Roger Stone lied to Congress.’ OH, I see, but so did Comey (and he also leaked classified information, for which almost everyone, other than Crooked Hillary Clinton, goes to jail for a long time), and so did Andy McCabe, who also lied to the FBI! FAIRNESS?’ the president tweeted.

It was unknown whether Berman Jackson was aware of his latest intervention but it came amid a case roiled by politics and mounting speculation Stone will be pardoned.

Even before she spoke, prosecutors staged their own revolt against the president calling the case ‘righteous’ and demanding a lengthy prison sentence despite their initial call for nine years being over-ruled by Attorney General Bill Barr in one of the main acts of an unfolding constitutional crisis.

Stone, 67, stood in silence as Jackson told a federal courtroom Washington, D.C. that he should spend 40 months -three years and four months – behind bars.

She had savaged him in his sentencing remarks – and rebuked the president himself, possibly for his tweet this morning which was during the first part of her hearing.

‘This case did not arise because Roger Stone was being prosecuted by his political enemies,’ Berman Jackson said.

She said Stone told ‘flat out lies,’ and that his conviction had nothing to do with whether Russia interfered in the 2016 election.

He was guilty of a ‘corrupt, unlawful,’ campaign to stop his lies being exposed when he threatened Randy Credico, who he named as his ‘go-between’ to Julian Assange, to stop Credico revealing the truth, that there was another go-between.

Stone was also guilty of withholding texts and emails from Congress, prompting Berman Jackson to again lash out at the president. 

Off home: Roger Stone left court to return to Florida

Free to go - for now: Roger Stone is escorted from the Washington D.C. federal courthouse after his sentencing. He remains gagged from speaking to the press

Happy outcome: A grinning Roger Stone left the court to get into a waiting car

On his way: Roger Stone steps out of the court and into the crowd after his sentencing

Not over: Roger Stone's case is not at an end because he has applied for a retrial, which the judge is considering. She went ahead with the sentencing and will rule later on his call for a fresh hearing

Crowd: Roger Stone walked through a crowd of waiting photographers and reporters as he left the court

Grinning: Roger Stone had shown no emotion as he was sentenced, and left the court building with a smile on his face

Grinning: Roger Stone had shown no emotion as he was sentenced, and left the court building with a smile on his face

Lightning rod: Federal judge Amy Berman Jackson will sentence Roger Stone in a case which has caused a crisis to engulf Bill Barr who pleaded with Donald Trump to let him do his job and stop the tweeting about his Department of Justice

Lightning rod: Federal judge Amy Berman Jackson will sentence Roger Stone in a case which has caused a crisis to engulf Bill Barr who pleaded with Donald Trump to let him do his job and stop the tweeting about his Department of Justice

Lightning rod: Federal judge Amy Berman Jackson will sentence Roger Stone in a case which has caused a crisis to engulf Bill Barr who pleaded with Donald Trump to let him do his job and stop the tweeting about his Department of Justice

And she pointed out that it was a Republican-led inquiry which he had initially defied.

Then she laced into the president, without naming him, saying it was right for sentencing to be done by a judge, ‘Not someone who has a longstanding friendship with the defendant, not someone whose political career was aided by the defendant.’

Stone was joined by a vast entourage led by his wife Nydia as he walked into the federal court, where his legal team has been bolstered by a Mafia lawyer who helped keep John Gotti Jr., head of the Gambino crime family and son of the ‘Teflon Don,’ out of prison.

Pro-Stone demonstrators brought a ‘pardon Roger stone’ banner which they held behind him when he arrived while counter-protesters tried to hurriedly erect an inflatable effigy of Trump as a rat as Stone arrived.

Hours before he arrived Trump launched another fusillade against Stone’s conviction, tweeting: ‘What has happened to Roger Stone should never happen to anyone in our country again.’

Trump’s tweets have plunged his own attorney general, Bill Barr, into a crisis over the rule of law, with the president declaring himself the ‘chief law enforcement officer,’ and demanding Barr ‘clean house.’

His wife Nydia was behind him in the courtroom as Stone, wearing a dark gray chalk stripe double-breasted suit, blue shirt with cutaway collar and sober gray tie, sat beside his attorneys.

Department of Justice attorneys had originally requested a far harsher punishment of seven to nine years only to see their recommendation ripped up by Attorney General William Barr, who drew praise from Trump for labeling it ‘excessive and unwarranted’.

The intervention sparked accusations of political interference, forcing Barr on the defensive as he denied bowing to White House influence and appealed for Trump to curb his explosive Twitter criticisms of Judge Jackson and the supposedly ‘tainted’ case against Stone.

More than 2,000 former justice department employees have since signed a petition calling on the Attorney General to resign.

The original prosecution foursome of Aaron Zelinsky, Jonathan Kravis, Adam Jed and Michael Marando were replaced for today’s proceedings at Washington, D.C. District Court, having all resigned in protest.

Stone’s sentencing got off to a rocky start when U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said that anyone in the court who did not have a medical reason to wear sunglasses should remove them. Stone had arrived in round sunglasses.

Jackson took the opportunity to grill prosecutors on why the Department of Justice decided last week to submit a second sentencing memorandum, a nod to Attorney General William Barr’s controversial decision to rip up the original seven to nine year recommendation submitted by his own attorneys.

It fell upon newly-assigned federal prosecutor John Crabb to apologize for the ‘miscommunication’, insisting that the original prosecution team – who resigned last week in protest – had acted in ‘good faith’.

Stone stood in silence as Jackson recalled the seven offences of which he was convicted: five counts of making false statements to Congress, a single count of obstructing a congressional proceeding and single count of witness tampering.

That final charge would be of particular significance as she warned Stone his sentence would likely be higher because it involved specific threats of violence.

Last November’s trial heard how Stone bullied the radio host Randy Credico into pleading the Fifth to avoid contradicting his 2016 testimony before Congress, branding him a ‘rat’ and threatening to take away his therapy dog.

Political point: An anti-Bill Barr protest was being made outside the federal court while Roger Stone was being sentenced - resulting in the advertising van being pulled over by D.C. cops

He's here: Roger Stone was accompanied by his wife Nydia and an almost 20-strong entourage as he arrived at federal court in Washington D.C. to be sentenced

In front of the protest: Roger and Nydia Stone walked past the inflatable Trump rat as they made their way into court

Grin and bear it: Roger Stone kept a fixed smile as he headed into court with his wife Nydia on his arm

Grin and bear it: Roger Stone kept a fixed smile as he headed into court with his wife Nydia on his arm

Raised a smile: Roger Stone's wife Nydia reacted positively to a group of supporters' banner calling for Donald Trump to issue the dirty trickster with a pardon

Raised a smile: Roger Stone’s wife Nydia reacted positively to a group of supporters’ banner calling for Donald Trump to issue the dirty trickster with a pardon

Arm-in-arm: Roger Stone wore a navy blue double-breasted topcoat with contrasting collar, blue cutaway collared shirt and sober gray tie, topped off with a black trilby as he arrived in court with Nydia, his second wife

 

Arm-in-arm: Roger Stone wore a navy blue double-breasted topcoat with contrasting collar, blue cutaway collared shirt and sober gray tie, topped off with a black trilby as he arrived in court with Nydia, his second wife

 

Asked if he had anything to say, Stone, dressed immaculately in a pinstripe suit, grey tie and suspenders, told Washington, D.C. District Court: ‘Your honor I choose not to speak at this time, thank you very much.’

Jackson slammed the 67-year-old defendant as an ‘insecure person who craves and recklessly pursues attention.’

‘This case did not arise because Roger Stone was being pursued by his political enemies,’ she added.

‘It arose because Roger Stone characteristically injected himself smack into the middle of one of the most significant issues of the day.’

Judge Jackson said Stone had interfered with matters of ‘grave national importance’ and repeatedly lied under oath. She characterized his defense as: ‘So what?’

‘Nothing about this case was a joke. It wasn’t funny,’ she cautioned.

‘This was not Roger being Roger. He lied to congress, he lied to elected representatives.’

The no-nonsense judge praised the ‘professionalism’ of the original four prosecutors, saying their recommendation was ‘true to the record’ and in line with Department of Justice guidelines.

However she agreed with Barr’s revision and said she was concerned seven to nine years would be ‘greater than necessary.’

She sentenced Stone to 40 months for obstruction, 12 months each for the counts of lying to Congress and 18 months for witness tampering, all sentences to be served concurrently.

He was also fined $20,000 and will have to serve two years’ probation. Federal rules means he has to give the court his tax returns.

Judge Jackson quizzed Crabb about how she came to receive two competing sentencing memorandums, noting that the original recommendation had never been formally withdrawn.

Crabb agreed and confirmed the prosecution was still asking for a substantial prison term for Stone, insisting the Justice Department had operated ‘without fear, favor or political influence’.

‘This prosecution was and is righteous,’ he said. ‘This confusion was not caused by the original trial team. There was nothing in bad faith about the prosecution team’s recommendation.’

Quizzed over who had ordered the new memorandum and why, Crabb replied: ‘What I understand is, there was a miscommunication between the Attorney General and the United States Attorney.’

Asked to explain who wrote the second memorandum, he repeatedly declined to say.

‘I cannot engage in discussions on internal deliberations,’ he said, to Judge Jackson’s obvious displeasure.

Ginsberg told the court that Stone had a history of ‘rough, provocative and hyperbolic language’ and that his threats to Credico should not influence his sentence, given that Credico and Stone went back decades and he knew Stone was ‘all bark and no bite.’

Judge Jackson disagreed, saying the sentencing seriousness level jumped from 14 to 27 because of Stone’s threats, witness tampering and efforts to disrupt justice.

‘The defendant refers to this as banter, which it hardly is,’ Jackson added, reeling off a list of insults Stone had directed toward Credico, including ‘rat’ and ‘c**sucker’.

She also slammed Stone over his repeated outbursts during last year’s prosecution, in particular his speaking out via InfoWars host Alex Jones to relay a message to Trump pleading for a pardon the night before he was found guilty.

That was in defiance of a gag order Judge Jackson had earlier slapped on Stone after he posted a mocked up photo of her face in rifle crosshairs online.

Jackson said Stone was deliberately trying to undermine proceedings and was stoking anger towards court officials, risking a scenario in which someone with ‘even less judgment’ could actually do something violent.

‘This is intolerable to the administration of justice. The court should not sit idly by, shrug its shoulders and say, that’s just Roger being Roger,’ she said.

Ratcheting up his sentencing level another two notches, she added: ‘It wasn’t an accident he had a staff that helped him do it. Using the new social media is his sweet spot.

‘He knew exactly what he was doing and in using Twitter and Instagram he deliberately magnified his message.’

Stone’s decades-long career on the shadier  margins of US politics appeared to be over last November after he was found guilty of five counts of making false statements to Congress and single counts of obstructing a congressional proceeding and witness tampering.

Jurors agreed the smooth-talking agent provocateur, who briefly served on Trump’s 2016 Presidential campaign, told a series of ‘whoppers’ when he testified before members of House Intelligence Committee investigating Russian collusion in the 2016 election.

Stone lied to lawmakers when he denied asking Julian Assange for the cache of Democratic Party messages stolen by Russian hackers and further lied about the identity of his go-between to the WikiLeaks founder.

He also concealed numerous texts, emails and telephone conversations in which he discussed WikiLeaks and Assange with then candidate-Trump and senior campaign figures including former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, ex Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort and former campaign official Rick Gates.

In he goes: Roger Stone took off his trilby to enter court, where he will be sentenced

Acknowledgment: Roger Stone gave a salute to supporters outside court

Acknowledgment: Roger Stone gave a salute to supporters outside court

Tailored: Roger Stone revealed he is wearing a double-breasted dark gray chalk stripe suit under his navy blue double-breasted overcoat as he got out of his car before going into court

Counter-protest: Anti-Trump activists put up an inflatable effigy of the president as a rat in time for Roger Stone's arrival

 

Counter-protest: Anti-Trump activists put up an inflatable effigy of the president as a rat in time for Roger Stone’s arrival

Publicity opportunity: The Stone spectacle has also been a magnet for a local tour company whose placard made a return to the entrance to court for the sentencing

Publicity opportunity: The Stone spectacle has also been a magnet for a local tour company whose placard made a return to the entrance to court for the sentencing

Ready for the walk: Nydia Stone grasped her husband's arm as they prepared to walk into court

Ready for the walk: Nydia Stone grasped her husband’s arm as they prepared to walk into court

Trump praises Bill Bar for ‘taking charge’ of Roger Stone case
The trial heard Stone was trying to procure the emails as a way to win favor with Trump and help him beat Hillary Clinton to the White House.

The net result of him lying ‘over and over and over again’ was that the House Intelligence Committee was impeded in its inquiries and its final report into Russian election inference was inaccurate because it didn’t mention Stone’s true intermediary, prosecutors said.

The tampering charge referred to his effort to bully the comedian and radio host Randy Credico into pleading the Fifth so he would avoid contradicting Stone’s sworn September 26, 2017 testimony.

Stone had told lawmakers that Credico was his ‘back channel’ to WikiLeaks when it was actually the conspiracy theorist and author Jerome Corsi.

When Credico threatened to set the record straight, Stone branded him a ‘c**ksucker’, a ‘rat’ and urged the rattled comic to do a ‘Frank Pentangeli’, referencing a character in Godfather Part II who lies to a congressional committee to help the Corleone family before committing suicide.

He also took aim at Credico’s therapy dog Bianca, a 13-year-old Coton de Tulear, writing in an text message: ‘I’m going to take that dog away from you.’

Prosecutors cited the threats of physical harm and Stone’s repeated media outbursts attacking Judge Jackson as aggravating factors against the former Nixon campaign adviser who has the disgraced former president’s face permanently tattooed on his back.

However Credico was among those who argued against incarceration, saying in a January letter to the judge: ‘I never in any way felt that Stone himself posed a direct physical threat to me or to my dog.’

Tomeka Hart, a former Memphis City Schools Board President, stoked the flames further when she outed herself last Wednesday as the jury forewoman in a Facebook post voicing support for the overruled prosecutors.

‘I have kept my silence for months. Initially, it was for my safety. Then, I decided to remain silent out of fear of politicizing the matter,’ Hart wrote.

Back channels: Stone had fraudulently told lawmakers that Randy Credico, a left-wing radio comedian, was his 'back channel' to WikiLeaks when it was actually the conspiracy theorist and author Jerome Corsi (pictured)

Back channels: Stone had fraudulently told lawmakers that Randy Credico (pictured), a left-wing radio comedian, was his 'back channel' to WikiLeaks when it was actually the conspiracy theorist and author Jerome Corsi

Center of case: Roger Stone  also took aim at Randy Credico's therapy dog Bianca, a 13-year-old Coton de Tulear, writing in an text message: 'I'm going to take that dog away from you.'

‘But I can’t keep quiet any longer. I want to stand up for Aaron Zelinsky, Adam Jed, Michael Marando, and Jonathan Kravis – the prosecutors on the Roger Stone trial.

‘It pains me to see the DOJ now interfere with the hard work of the prosecutors. They acted with the utmost intelligence, integrity, and respect for our system of justice.

‘For that, I wanted to speak up for them and ask you to join me in thanking them for their service.’

Hart, it further emerged, had unsuccessfully ran for Congress as a Democrat in 2012 and had participated in anti-Trump rallies and protests.

She had frequently denounced Trump on social media, calling the President and his supporters racists, and posted emojis of hearts and fist pumps after finding Stone guilty last November.

Hart had also re-tweeted a post by pundit Bakari Sellers dismissing Stone’s claims that the FBI used excessive force when they arrested him at his Fort Lauderdale, Florida home in January 2019.

Sellers had listed black victims of ‘police force’, including Sandra Bland, Walter Scott and Eric Gardner, scoffing: ‘But Roger Stone!!! Think about that.’

Stone’s lawyers have already made one failed attempt to secure a re-trial, arguing that a completely different juror, an IRS employee who worked with the Justice Department on criminal tax cases, should have been struck.

The juror admitted reading news articles about Stone’s arrest but denied having any opinions about Stone when asked about it by Judge Jackson in court.

The defense had failed to demonstrate the ‘sort of inherent bias’ that would prompt a retrial, Judge Jackson ruled.

Stone entered the political arena in 1972 when he ditched his studies at George Washington University, supporting Nixon in his re-election campaign then landing a job on his administration.

In one of his first stunts he contributed $135 to one of Nixon’s Republican rivals in the name of the Young Socialist Alliance – then slipped the receipt to a journalist.

During congressional hearings into the Watergate scandal in 1973 it emerged Stone had recruited a spy to infiltrate the campaigns of several of Nixon’s Democratic rivals.

He was fired from his job with then-Senator Bob Dole but went on to work for several more presidential campaigns: those of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and, eventually, his longtime friend Donald Trump, who first hired Stone to lobby for his casino businesses in the 1990s.

The National Enquirer in 1996 revealed that Stone had placed ads on a swingers website seeking sex partners for himself and his second wife Nydia Bertran Stone, 72. Stone later referred to himself in an interview as ‘a libertarian and a libertine’ and a ‘trysexual – I’ve tried everything’.

The six Trump associates to be convicted in Mueller probe

GUILTY: ROGER STONE 

Convicted in November 2019 on seven counts including obstruction of justice, witness tampering, and lying to Congress about his communications with WikiLeaks. Sentenced to 40 months in prison. 

Stone was a person of interest to Mueller’s investigators long before his January 2019 indictment, thanks in part due to his public pronouncements as well as internal emails about his contacts with WikiLeks.

In campaign texts and emails, Stone communicated with associates about WikiLeaks following reports the organization had obtained a cache of Clinton-related emails. 

According to the federal indictment, Stone gave ‘false and misleading’ testimony about his requests for information from WikiLeaks. He then pressured a witness, comedian Randy Credico, to take the Fifth Amendment rather than testify, and pressured him in a series of emails. Following a prolonged dispute over testimony, he called him a ‘rat’ and threatened to ‘take that dog away from you’, in reference to Credico’s therapy dog, Bianca. Stone warned him: ‘Let’s get it on. Prepare to die.’  

GUILTY: MICHAEL FLYNN 

Pleaded guilty to making false statements in December 2017. Awaiting sentence

Flynn was President Trump’s former National Security Advisor and Robert Mueller’s most senior scalp to date. He previously served when he was a three star general as President Obama’s director of the Defense Intelligence Agency but was fired. 

He admitted to lying to special counsel investigators about his conversations with a Russian ambassador in December 2016. He has agreed to cooperate with the special counsel investigation.

GUILTY AND IN JAIL: MICHAEL COHEN

Pleaded guilty to eight counts including fraud and two campaign finance violations in August 2018. Pleaded guilty to further count of lying to Congress in November 2018. Sentenced to three years in prison and $2 million in fines and forfeitures in December 2018

Cohen was investigated by Mueller but the case was handed off to the Southern District of New York,leaving Manhattan’s ferocious and fiercely independent federal prosecutors to run his case. 

Cohen was Trump’s longtime personal attorney, starting working for him and the Trump Organization in 2007. He is the longest-serving member of Trump’s inner circle to be implicated by Mueller. Cohen professed unswerving devotion to Trump – and organized payments to silence two women who alleged they had sex with the-then candidate: porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal. He admitted that payments to both women were felony campaign finance violations – and admitted that he acted at the ‘direction’ of ‘Candidate-1’: Donald Trump. 

He also admitted tax fraud by lying about his income from loans he made, money from  taxi medallions he owned, and other sources of income, at a cost to the Treasury of $1.3 million.

And he admitted lying to Congress in a rare use of the offense. The judge in his case let him report for prison on March 6 and  recommended he serve it in a medium-security facility close to New York City.

Campaign role: Paul Manafort chaired Trump's campaign for four months - which included the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in 2016, where he appeared on stage beside Trump who was preparing  to formally accept the Republican nomination

GUILTY AND IN JAIL: PAUL MANAFORT

Found guilty of eight charges of bank and tax fraud in August 2018. Sentenced to 47 months in March 2019. Pleaded guilty to two further charges – witness tampering and conspiracy against the United States. Jailed for total of seven and a half years in two separate sentences. Additionally indicted for mortgage fraud by Manhattan District Attorney, using evidence previously presented by Mueller. That indictment was dismissed by the DA is appealing

 Manafort worked for Trump’s campaign from March 2016 and chaired it from June to August 2016, overseeing Trump being adopted as Republican candidate at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. He is the most senior campaign official to be implicated by Mueller. Manafort was one of Washington D.C.’s longest-term and most influential lobbyists but in 2015, his money dried up and the next year he turned to Trump for help, offering to be his campaign chairman for free – in the hope of making more money afterwards. But Mueller unwound his previous finances and discovered years of tax and bank fraud as he coined in cash from pro-Russia political parties and oligarchs in Ukraine.

Manafort pleaded not guilty to 18 charges of tax and bank fraud but was convicted of eight counts in August 2018. The jury was deadlocked on the other 10 charges. A second trial on charges of failing to register as a foreign agent due in September did not happen when he pleaded guilty to conspiracy against the United States and witness tampering in a plea bargain. He was supposed to co-operate with Mueller but failed to. 

Minutes after his second sentencing hearing in March 2019, he was indicted on 16 counts of fraud and conspiracy by the Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., using evidence which included documents previously presented at his first federal trial. The president has no pardon power over charges by district and state attorneys.

GUILTY: RICK GATES 

Pleaded guilty to conspiracy against the United States and making false statements in February 2018. Awaiting sentence

Gates, a Trump campaign official, was Manafort’s former deputy at political consulting firm DMP International. He admitted to conspiring to defraud the U.S. government on financial activity, and to lying to investigators about a meeting Manafort had with a member of congress in 2013. As a result of his guilty plea and promise of cooperation, prosecutors vacated charges against Gates on bank fraud, bank fraud conspiracy, failure to disclose foreign bank accounts, filing false tax returns, helping prepare false tax filings, and falsely amending tax returns.

GUILTY AND JAILED: GEORGE PAPADOPOLOUS

Pleaded guilty to making false statements in October 2017. Sentenced to 14 days in September 2018, and reported to prison in November. Served 12 days and released on December 7, 2018

 Papadopoulos was a member of Donald Trump’s campaign foreign policy advisory committee. He admitted to lying to special counsel investigators about his contacts with London professor Josef Mifsud and Ivan Timofeev, the director of a Russian government-funded think tank. 

He agreed to cooperate with the special counsel investigation but is now highly critical of it.  

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8025217/Roger-Stone-sentenced-three-years-judge-rebukes-Donald-Trump-tweeted-spoke.html

‘The American people cared. And I care.’ Top lines from Judge Amy Berman Jackson during the Roger Stone sentencing

The Roger Stone Sentencing Fiasco

Some Justice Department personnel handled it questionably, but Trump’s reaction was worse.

The first thing to grasp about the Roger Stone sentencing fiasco is that Stone, even accepting the worst plausible gloss on his crimes, is a 67-year-old nonviolent first offender. If the criminal-justice “reform” fad were authentic, and not a stratagem of social-justice warriors who have taken Washington’s surfeit of useful idiots for a ride, then we could all agree that the original seven-to-nine-year sentence advocated by prosecutors was too draconian — even if it was, as we shall see, a faithful application of the federal sentencing guidelines as written.

But no. Like criminal-justice “reform,” the Stone prosecution is more politics than law enforcement. It was the Mueller probe’s last gasp at pretending there might be something to the Russia-collusion narrative – notwithstanding that, when the “gee, it sure feels like there could be some collusion here” indictment was filed, over a year and a half after special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed, it had long been manifest that there was no Trump–Russia conspiracy.

So, the Left has a quandary here: Do they hate Trump more than they love sentencing “reform”? We could have predicted the decision to go with hating Trump, and thus fomenting outrage over DOJ’s retraction of its original sentencing recommendation of about nine years’ imprisonment, now slashed to a far more reasonable range of four years or less. To be fair, though, Trump critics could not have been expected to resist the combination of DOJ missteps and Trump Twitter taunts that mark Stone’s sentencing, the combination that has managed to turn Mueller’s maulers into media martyrs.

Some background: In a ridiculously overblown, overcharged prosecution, Mueller slammed the ineffable Stone with seven felony counts of obstructing Congress’s Russia investigation. One of these involved tampering with a witness, left-wing radio host Randy Credico (through whom Stone sought a communications channel with WikiLeaks honcho Julian Assange).

At a certain point, Credico let it be known that he intended to cooperate with investigators. A ballistic Stone, when not uttering lunatic references to Watergate and Frank Pentangeli (the Mafioso character goaded into suicide when a plot to take out the Don fails in Godfather II), warned the “stoolie” “rat” Credico to “prepare to die” and vowed to steal his pet dog. Even in context, these seem to be puerile ravings, not real threats. (Stone added that his lawyers were anxious to “rip [Credico] to shreds,” so any murder and dognapping was apparently going to await cross-examination.) And though Stone is patently guilty of witness tampering, Credico himself told the court that he did not take Stone’s threats seriously.

DOJ: We Overstepped By Keeping Tabs On Trump Campaign Adviser For Too Long

Stone being the sort of Einstein who commits his obstructions in writing (the Credico contacts were mostly text messages), the jury convicted him in nothing flat. That meant DOJ would give the court its take on how the sentencing guidelines applied to the case, as it does with every convicted defendant.

In Stone’s case, the guidelines worked a severe result. In tampering cases, a guidelines enhancement calls for a drastic increase in the sentence if the defendant threatened the witness with physical injury. This drove Stone’s “offense level” from 21 to 29 on the guidelines grid, so even though he is a first offender (offense history “Category I” in guidelines-speak), his recommended sentence zoomed to 90 to 108 months — instead of 37 to 46 months, as it would have been at offense level 21 (i.e., without the threats).

With Mueller’s shop closed down, the Stone prosecution was run out of the U.S. attorney’s office for the District of Columbia. But it was still being overseen by two Mueller staffers, Aaron S. J. Zelinsky (on loan from the U.S. attorney’s office in Maryland, where he had worked for Rod Rosenstein, who, as Trump’s deputy attorney general, later appointed Mueller), and Adam C. Jed (an appellate lawyer from the Obama Justice Department who first came to public attention in 2013, arguing that the ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional). Also assigned to the case were Jonathan Kravis, a former associate White House counsel to Obama, and Michael Mirando, an experienced assistant U.S. attorney in the D.C. office.

This team of prosecutors filed a sentencing memorandum on Monday, laying out the guidelines and advising Judge Amy Berman Jackson that they called for a prison sentence of about seven to nine years (i.e., the offense-level guidelines range of 90 to 108 months). Like the indictment itself, the memo is gross overkill.

As the Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross notes, the prosecutors tied Stone to “foreign election interference,” breathlessly framed as the “most deadly adversary of republican government,” even though he was never charged with any such crime — underscoring yet again that the deadliest adversary of republican government is actually domestic — viz., the politicized use of executive police powers. Far from offering any theory in mitigation of the 90-to-108-months range, the prosecutors pooh-poohed Credico’s perception that Stone’s threats were not serious, factitiously insisting that the guidelines enhancement is triggered by the threat, not whether the target is actually intimidated. Plus, prosecutors maintained, Stone’s crimes were exacerbated by his flouting of Judge Berman Jackson’s gag orders during the prosecution.

All that said, the prosecutors’ submission was an accurate (if extreme and unyielding) rendition of federal sentencing law. The enhancement that inflates Stone’s sentencing range does literally apply — even if he is not the kind of violent criminal that the guidelines commissioners had in mind when they wrote it. Prosecutors are not required to argue for clemency, though they should do so when the circumstances call for it. The Justice Department’s default position in criminal cases is that the guidelines should be applied as written, and that it is up to the court to decide whether to follow them.

While Stone awaited sentence, the prosecutors were supervised, at least nominally, by Jessie Liu, the U.S. attorney for D.C. I say “nominally” because the Trump Justice Department has always been leery about being seen as interfering in Mueller-based prosecutions. Moreover, the D.C. office was in transition while court submissions pertaining to Stone’s sentencing were being prepared.

In December 2019, President Trump announced his nomination of Liu to become the Treasury Department’s undersecretary overseeing financial sanctions on terrorists. Liu continued running the U.S. attorney’s office, albeit with one foot out the door, until the end of January. With her Treasury confirmation hearing scheduled for February 13 (i.e., tomorrow), Attorney General Bill Barr appointed one of his top advisers, Timothy Shea (a well-regarded longtime prosecutor, litigator, and Capitol Hill staffer), to become acting U.S. attorney for D.C. on January 30. That was eleven days before the Stone team filed its sentencing submission.

How much participation Shea had in the recommendation is unclear. The New York Times reports that both he and Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen opined that the seven-to-nine-year sentencing recommendation was too severe. Yet, it does not appear that they put their foot down and instructed the Stone prosecutors to ameliorate it before the government’s submission was filed on Monday.

As is his wont, the president went bonkers on Twitter upon learning of the recommendation, calling it “horrible and very unfair” and a major “miscarriage of justice” because “the real crimes are on the other side” — i.e., the Russia-probe investigators — yet “nothing happens to them.” While the Justice Department was obviously aware of the president’s tweet, as well as press reporting about the harshness of the prosecutors’ sentencing recommendation, the DOJ and the White House have had no communications about the case, according to both the president and a spokeswoman for the attorney general.

Nevertheless, the DOJ made it known that the sentencing memo would be rescinded and a new one filed. That announcement prompted the recusals of all four prosecutors, some of whom are quitting the DOJ entirely and some apparently just stepping aside from the Stone case.

Late Tuesday, the DOJ filed a revised sentencing memo, which does not recommend a specific sentence but strongly suggests that a term calculated without the eight-point enhancement — i.e., between 37 and 46 months’ imprisonment — would be just. The new memo concedes that the prosecutors’ calculation in the original memo was “arguably” correct, but contends that it would be unreasonable under the circumstances. On that score, the memo relies on (a) Credico’s dismissal of the threat (though it acknowledges that this is not dispositive); (b) the fact that a sentence driven by the guidelines enhancement would be wildly out of proportion with prison terms imposed in cases similar to Stone’s; (c) Stone’s being a first-offender with no organized-crime or gang connections and thus not typical f the offenders the enhancement is meant to cover; and (d) Stone’s advanced age and failing health.

This is an entirely reasonable recommendation, even if the process of arriving at it has been a train wreck.

The Justice Department correctly observes that the sentence to be imposed is entirely up to the court. The DOJ’s recommendations are non-binding and frequently ignored by judges. Judge Berman Jackson has been thoroughly informed about what the non-binding guidelines say, as well as the cases for and against applying the enhancement.

Furthermore, let’s imagine that, instead of orchestrating a fiasco, DOJ had efficiently managed any internal disputes (which are not uncommon) and had filed a single memo recommending a 37-to-46-month sentence — a memo that explained both the enhancement for threatening witnesses and why applying it would be unreasonable under the circumstances. Does anyone doubt that such a recommendation would nevertheless have been panned as excessive by the president?

For now, while Trump has taken to attacking both the resigning prosecutors and Judge Berman Jackson on Twitter, it appears that former U.S. attorney Liu is taking the fall. Within hours of the prosecutors’ trumpeting their departures in grand Sally Yates style, the White House announced that the president had pulled Liu’s appointment to the Treasury Department position — even though her confirmation hearing was just two days away, and Barr had lavished praise on her upon appointing Shea as her replacement.

Liu certainly had a tumultuous tenure. Besides the thankless task of inheriting the Mueller cases against Stone and former national-security adviser Michael Flynn (the implosion of which is a story for another day), her office foolishly pursued a threadbare Mueller-generated prosecution of Greg Craig for false statements based on lobbying for Ukraine. Craig, former White House counsel to President Obama, was speedily acquitted by a jury last year. Meanwhile, there was also a mini-revolt on the Senate Judiciary Committee a few months back when the president floated the idea of elevating Liu to the No. 3 leadership slot at the DOJ — though she was vigorously defended by AG Barr, and suspicions that she lacked conservative bona fides appear overwrought (the fact that Liu may be pro-choice hardly means she would not enforce laws regulating abortion; and a claim that, 15 years ago, she opposed Justice Samuel Alito’s appointment to the Supreme Court appears to be false).

I would not suggest that Liu and others at the DOJ distinguished themselves in the Stone sentencing debacle. But at this point, the main fault lies with the president.

Yes, the Mueller probe was specious. But for his connection to Trump, Stone would never have been pursued in a collusion fever dream that Mueller’s prosecutors knew was bogus when they charged him. Yet his crimes, while exaggerated, were real. He was convicted by a jury and, under federal law, that presumptively warrants incarceration, though he could be spared by the judge (whom the president has picked a strange time to antagonize). If the president thinks that Stone and Flynn (among others) have been given a raw deal, the Constitution empowers him to pardon them, or at least commute their sentences.

If President Trump is afraid, in an election year, to take the political hit that a pardon for Stone would entail, that is understandable. But then he should bite his tongue and click out of Twitter. The Justice Department’s job is to process cases, including Mueller cases, pursuant to law. If the president wants to make those cases disappear, he has to do it himself and be accountable. His provocative running commentary only ensures that the DOJ will be accused of kowtowing to him. It also guarantees that, if the ongoing criminal probe of the Russiagate investigation eventually yields any indictments, they will be assailed as political persecutions rather than good-faith law enforcement.

 

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Worrying about coronavirus? This other virus is the real threat.

Worrying about coronavirus? This other virus is the real threat.

There’s a deadly virus spreading from state to state. It preys on the most vulnerable, striking the sick and the old without mercy. In just the last few months, it has claimed the lives of at least 39 children.

The virus is influenza, and it poses a far greater threat to Americans than the coronavirus from China that has made headlines around the world.

“When we think about the relative danger of this new coronavirus and influenza, there’s just no comparison,” said William Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine and health policy at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “Coronavirus will be a blip on the horizon in comparison. The risk is trivial.”

To be sure, the coronavirus outbreak, which originated last month in the Chinese city of Wuhan, should be taken seriously. The virus can cause pneumonia and is blamed for more than 7,000 illnesses and more than 170 deaths.

The World Health Organization on Thursday declared the outbreak a global emergency requiring a coordinated international response after the number of cases spiked sharply over the last few days. But officials warn much remains unknown.

In the United States, at least six cases of the virus have been reported, including the first case of person-to-person infection. Public health workers are monitoring dozens of additional patients.

And yet, Americans aren’t particularly concerned.

Fewer than half of adults got a flu shot last season, according to the CDC. Even among children, who can be especially vulnerable to respiratory illnesses, only 62% received the vaccine.

If Americans aren’t afraid of the flu, perhaps that’s because they are inured to yearly warnings. For them, the flu is old news. Yet viruses named after foreign places — such as Ebola, Zika, and Wuhan — inspire terror.

“Familiarity breeds indifference,” Schaffner said. “Because it’s new, it’s mysterious, and comes from an exotic place, the coronavirus creates anxiety.”

Some doctors joke that the flu needs to be rebranded.

“We should rename influenza; call it XZ-47 virus or something scarier,” said Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

 

Measles in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has killed 5,000 people in the last year — more than twice as many as Ebola. Yet UNICEF officials have noted that the measles, which many Americans no longer fear, has gotten little attention. Nearly all the measles victims were children under 5.

Because the Wuhan virus is new, humans have no antibodies against it. Doctors haven’t had time to develop treatments or vaccines.

The big question, so far unknown, is just how easily the virus is transmitted from an infected person to others. Officials warn much remains unknown, but each patient with the new coronavirus appears to be infecting about two other people.

By comparison, patients with SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, spread the infection to an average of two to four others. Each patient with measles — one of the most contagious viruses known to science — infects 12 to 18 unvaccinated people.

Health officials worry that the new coronavirus could resemble SARS — which appeared suddenly in China in 2002 and spread to 26 countries, sickening 8,000 people and killing 774, according to the WHO.The U.S. dodged a bullet with SARS, Schaffner said. Only eight Americans became infected and none died, according to the CDC. Yet SARS caused a global panic, leading people to shutter hotels, cancel flights, and close businesses.

Coronaviruses can be unpredictable, said Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. While some patients never infect anyone else, people who are “super-spreaders” can infect dozens of others.

At Seoul, South Korea’s Samsung Medical Center in 2015, a single emergency-room patient infected 82 people —patients, visitors, and staff — with a coronavirus called MERS, or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. The hospital partly shut down to control the virus.

“This is one of the finest medical centers in the world, on par with the Cleveland Clinic, and they were brought to their knees,” Osterholm said.

Yet MERS has never posed much of a threat to the United States.

Only two patients in this country — health-care providers who had worked in Saudi Arabia — have ever tested positive for the virus, according to the CDC. Both patients survived.

Hotez, who is working to develop vaccines against neglected diseases, said he worries about unvaccinated children. Most kids who die from the flu haven’t been immunized against it, he said. And many were previously healthy.

“If you’re worried about your health, get your flu vaccination,” Hotez said. “It’s not too late.”

https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus-infection-death-risk-influenza-20200129.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deadly coronavirus ‘kills 15 PER CENT of patients over 80’ and the never-before-seen strain is ‘up to 20 TIMES more infectious than SARS’

  • Chinese health officials carried out the biggest ever study on the coronavirus
  • Results showed SARS-CoV-2 virus posed the greatest threat to older patients 
  • It is also dangerous for those with underlying conditions, such as heart disease
  • More than 73,000 cases have been recorded, with up to 99% of them in China 
  • Do you have a study about coronavirus? Email sam.blanchard@mailonline.co.uk 

The deadly coronavirus rapidly sweeping the world kills up to 15 per cent of patients over the age of 80, scientists have revealed.

Chinese health officials carried out the biggest ever study on the never-before-seen strain of the virus, using data from 72,000 cases.

Results showed the SARS-CoV-2 virus posed the greatest threat to older patients and those with underlying conditions, such as cancer and heart disease.

Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention researchers also found 80.9 per cent of infections are mild. Less than five per cent are critical.

More than 73,000 cases have been recorded worldwide, with 99 per cent in China. Almost 1,900 patients have already died.

Residents walk through a disinfection channel set up as a protective measure against the coronavirus at the entrance to their compound in Tongzhou, east of Beijing

Residents walk through a disinfection channel set up as a protective measure against the coronavirus at the entrance to their compound in Tongzhou, east of Beijing

A child wearing a face mask plays near a slide at a commercial and residential complex in a residential complex in Beijing

A child wearing a face mask plays near a slide at a commercial and residential complex in a residential complex in Beijing

A police officer wearing a face mask patrols in front of the Sunwill factory in Foshan, China

A medical worker takes a swab for testing from a Chinese paramilitary police officer in Shenzhen, Guangdong province

 

A medical worker takes a swab for testing from a Chinese paramilitary police officer in Shenzhen, Guangdong province

Cases of a mysterious pneumonia-causing virus first emerged in the now-deserted Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.

Researchers blamed a seafood market in Hubei city that illegally sold wild animals for being the source of the virus.

The virus has no known cure and most patients who are struck down recover within a couple of weeks without needing medical treatment.

Those who develop more serious infections in their lungs, such as pneumonia, need expert medical care to stop their illness turning deadly.

They looked at 72,314 confirmed, suspected, clinically diagnosed, and asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 illness across China as of February 11.

COVID-19 is the name of the disease caused by the virus, which has effectively been named as SARS-2 by the World Health Organization.

Results showed the overall case-fatality ratio – the percentage of patients who die – was just 2.3 per cent.

Ninety-nine per cent of cases have been in China, where tens of millions of residents are in lockdown to contain the escalating crisis. The COVID-19 virus has killed at least 1,873 people

And more than 73,000 patients have been struck down with the deadly SARS-CoV-2 infection, including nearly 1,000 outside of China

And more than 73,000 patients have been struck down with the deadly SARS-CoV-2 infection, including nearly 1,000 outside of China

Almost 1,900 people have now died from the killer coronavirus rapidly sweeping the world

Almost 1,900 people have now died from the killer coronavirus rapidly sweeping the world

In comparison, SARS – which only infected a fraction of patients during the 2002/03 epidemic – killed around 10 per cent.

While the death rate for MERS, another type of coronavirus that was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012, is even higher (34 per cent).

One of the world’s deadliest diseases, Ebola, kills around half of all patients it strikes. Ebola is not caused by any type of coronavirus.

When data for the SARS-CoV-2 infection was broken down, researchers found over-80s had the highest fatality ratio at 14.8 per cent.

The likelihood of death was just eight per cent of patients aged between 70 and 79, and 3.6 per cent for those in their sixties.

The case-fatality ratio was less than 1.5 per cent for patients in their fifties, and less than 0.5 per cent for everyone else – meaning roughly one in 200 will die.

There were no deaths among children aged up to nine, despite at least two cases of newborn babies infected through their mothers.

In contrast, the death rate for flu is around 0.1 per cent, according to the US Centres for Disease Control (CDC).

Older adults have weaker immune systems, meaning it is harder for the body to fight off a virus such as SARS-CoV-2 or flu.

Patients with heart disease were most likely to die from the virus, followed by those with diabetes, chronic respiratory disease and hypertension.

CCDC academics also found 80.9 percent of infections were classified as mild, 13.8 percent as severe and only 4.7 percent as critical.

And men are more likely to die (2.8 per cent) than women (1.7 per cent). But experts have yet to work out why men are more vulnerable.

Nearly 86 percent of those who have contracted the illness either lived in or travelled to Wuhan.

British cruise ship passenger David Abel and his wife Sally (pictured in their cabin on the Diamond Princess) have tested positive for coronavirus in Japan

David Abel believes he is going to test negative for coronavirus

Steve Abel (pictured today) said his parents David and Sally Abel were 'not getting any communication' from Whitehall and were 'feeling very unloved'

The Diamond Princess (pictured today) remains in lockdown and hundreds face a longer spell in quarantine even after the official incubation period ends tomorrow

American passenger details life on Diamond Princess ahead of evacuation

SON OF BRIT COUPLE WITH CORONAVIRUS ON CRUISE SHIP BEGS GOVERNMENT TO RESCUE THEM

The son of a British couple who caught coronavirus on a cruise ship in Japan has today savaged the government’s ‘appalling’ handling of the case.

Steve Abel said his parents David and Sally were ‘not getting any communication’ from Whitehall and were ‘feeling very unloved’ despite repeated pleas for help.

The British couple were among 88 people who tested positive for the virus in Japan today, taking the number of infections on board the ship to 542.

They are now being taken into a further quarantine on the mainland just a day before their stay on board the Diamond Princess was due to end.

The Abels will also be unable to join an evacuation flight which the British embassy is preparing today amid growing pressure after the US evacuated 340 of its citizens.

And 3,019 health workers have been diagnosed and five had died as of February 11, the report said.

The epidemic, which has seen cases in almost 30 countries, reached its ‘first peak’ between January 24 and 26, the report said.

It suggests there is has been a ‘downward trend’ in the overall epidemic curve since February 11 – meaning the spread of the disease was slowing.

A separate group of scientists published their findings about the virus on bioRxiv – an archive of papers before they have been peer-reviewed.

Scientists at the University of Texas at Austin found SARS-CoV-2 was 20 times more likely to bind to human cells than its original predecessor.

South China Morning Post reports the team said the virus shares the same host-cell receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), with SARS.

The researchers wrote: ‘Compared with SARS-CoV, 2019-nCoV appears to be more readily transmitted from human to human.

‘The high affinity of 2019-nCoV for human ACE2 may contribute to the apparent ease with which 2019-nCoV can spread from human to human.’

WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE DEADLY CORONAVIRUS IN CHINA?

Someone who is infected with the coronavirus can spread it with just a simple cough or a sneeze, scientists say.

Over 2,000 people with the virus are now confirmed to have died and more than 75,000 have been infected. But experts predict the true number of people with the disease could be as high as 350,000 in Wuhan alone, as they warn it may kill as many as two in 100 cases.  Here’s what we know so far:

What is the coronavirus?

A coronavirus is a type of virus which can cause illness in animals and people. Viruses break into cells inside their host and use them to reproduce itself and disrupt the body’s normal functions. Coronaviruses are named after the Latin word ‘corona’, which means crown, because they are encased by a spiked shell which resembles a royal crown.

The coronavirus from Wuhan is one which has never been seen before this outbreak. It has been named SARS-CoV-2 by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses. The name stands for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2.

Experts say the bug, which has killed around one in 50 patients since the outbreak began in December, is a ‘sister’ of the SARS illness which hit China in 2002, so has been named after it.

The disease that the virus causes has been named COVID-19, which stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The virus itself is called SARS-CoV-2.

Dr Helena Maier, from the Pirbright Institute, said: ‘Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that infect a wide range of different species including humans, cattle, pigs, chickens, dogs, cats and wild animals.

‘Until this new coronavirus was identified, there were only six different coronaviruses known to infect humans. Four of these cause a mild common cold-type illness, but since 2002 there has been the emergence of two new coronaviruses that can infect humans and result in more severe disease (Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronaviruses).

‘Coronaviruses are known to be able to occasionally jump from one species to another and that is what happened in the case of SARS, MERS and the new coronavirus. The animal origin of the new coronavirus is not yet known.’

The first human cases were publicly reported from the Chinese city of Wuhan, where approximately 11million people live, after medics first started publicly reporting infections on December 31.

By January 8, 59 suspected cases had been reported and seven people were in critical condition. Tests were developed for the new virus and recorded cases started to surge.

The first person died that week and, by January 16, two were dead and 41 cases were confirmed. The next day, scientists predicted that 1,700 people had become infected, possibly up to 7,000.

Just a week after that, there had been more than 800 confirmed cases and those same scientists estimated that some 4,000 – possibly 9,700 – were infected in Wuhan alone. By that point, 26 people had died. 

By January 27, more than 2,800 people were confirmed to have been infected, 81 had died, and estimates of the total number of cases ranged from 100,000 to 350,000 in Wuhan alone.

By January 29, the number of deaths had risen to 132 and cases were in excess of 6,000.  

By February 5, there were more than 24,000 cases and 492 deaths.

By February 11, this had risen to more than 43,000 cases and 1,000 deaths. 

A change in the way cases are confirmed on February 13 – doctors decided to start using lung scans as a formal diagnosis, as well as laboratory tests – caused a spike in the number of cases, to more than 60,000 and to 1,369 deaths. 

Where does the virus come from?

According to scientists, the virus has almost certainly come from bats. Coronaviruses in general tend to originate in animals – the similar SARS and MERS viruses are believed to have originated in civet cats and camels, respectively.

The first cases of COVID-19 came from people visiting or working in a live animal market in the city, which has since been closed down for investigation.

Although the market is officially a seafood market, other dead and living animals were being sold there, including wolf cubs, salamanders, snakes, peacocks, porcupines and camel meat.

A study by the Wuhan Institute of Virology, published in February 2020 in the scientific journal Nature, found that the genetic make-up virus samples found in patients in China is 96 per cent similar to a coronavirus they found in bats.

However, there were not many bats at the market so scientists say it was likely there was an animal which acted as a middle-man, contracting it from a bat before then transmitting it to a human. It has not yet been confirmed what type of animal this was.

Dr Michael Skinner, a virologist at Imperial College London, was not involved with the research but said: ‘The discovery definitely places the origin of nCoV in bats in China.

‘We still do not know whether another species served as an intermediate host to amplify the virus, and possibly even to bring it to the market, nor what species that host might have been.’

So far the fatalities are quite low. Why are health experts so worried about it? 

Experts say the international community is concerned about the virus because so little is known about it and it appears to be spreading quickly.

It is similar to SARS, which infected 8,000 people and killed nearly 800 in an outbreak in Asia in 2003, in that it is a type of coronavirus which infects humans’ lungs.

Another reason for concern is that nobody has any immunity to the virus because they’ve never encountered it before. This means it may be able to cause more damage than viruses we come across often, like the flu or common cold.

Speaking at a briefing in January, Oxford University professor, Dr Peter Horby, said: ‘Novel viruses can spread much faster through the population than viruses which circulate all the time because we have no immunity to them.

‘Most seasonal flu viruses have a case fatality rate of less than one in 1,000 people. Here we’re talking about a virus where we don’t understand fully the severity spectrum but it’s possible the case fatality rate could be as high as two per cent.’

If the death rate is truly two per cent, that means two out of every 100 patients who get it will die.

‘My feeling is it’s lower,’ Dr Horby added. ‘We’re probably missing this iceberg of milder cases. But that’s the current circumstance we’re in.

‘Two per cent case fatality rate is comparable to the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918 so it is a significant concern globally.’

How does the virus spread?

The illness can spread between people just through coughs and sneezes, making it an extremely contagious infection. And it may also spread even before someone has symptoms.

It is believed to travel in the saliva and even through water in the eyes, therefore close contact, kissing, and sharing cutlery or utensils are all risky.

Originally, people were thought to be catching it from a live animal market in Wuhan city. But cases soon began to emerge in people who had never been there, which forced medics to realise it was spreading from person to person.

There is now evidence that it can spread third hand – to someone from a person who caught it from another person.

What does the virus do to you? What are the symptoms?

Once someone has caught the COVID-19 virus it may take between two and 14 days, or even longer, for them to show any symptoms – but they may still be contagious during this time.

If and when they do become ill, typical signs include a runny nose, a cough, sore throat and a fever (high temperature). The vast majority of patients – at least 97 per cent, based on available data – will recover from these without any issues or medical help.

In a small group of patients, who seem mainly to be the elderly or those with long-term illnesses, it can lead to pneumonia. Pneumonia is an infection in which the insides of the lungs swell up and fill with fluid. It makes it increasingly difficult to breathe and, if left untreated, can be fatal and suffocate people. 

What have genetic tests revealed about the virus? 

Scientists in China have recorded the genetic sequences of around 19 strains of the virus and released them to experts working around the world.

This allows others to study them, develop tests and potentially look into treating the illness they cause.

Examinations have revealed the coronavirus did not change much – changing is known as mutating – much during the early stages of its spread.

However, the director-general of China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Gao Fu, said the virus was mutating and adapting as it spread through people.

This means efforts to study the virus and to potentially control it may be made extra difficult because the virus might look different every time scientists analyse it.

More study may be able to reveal whether the virus first infected a small number of people then change and spread from them, or whether there were various versions of the virus coming from animals which have developed separately.

How dangerous is the virus?  

The virus has a death rate of around two per cent. This is a similar death rate to the Spanish Flu outbreak which, in 1918, went on to kill around 50million people.

However, experts say the true number of patients is likely considerably higher and therefore the death rate considerably lower. Imperial College London researchers estimate that there were 4,000 (up to 9,700) cases in Wuhan city alone up to January 18 – officially there were only 444 there to that date. If cases are in fact 100 times more common than the official figures, the virus may be far less dangerous than currently believed, but also far more widespread.

Experts say it is likely only the most seriously ill patients are seeking help and are therefore recorded – the vast majority will have only mild, cold-like symptoms. For those whose conditions do become more severe, there is a risk of developing pneumonia which can destroy the lungs and kill you.

Can the virus be cured?

The COVID-19 virus cannot currently be cured and it is proving difficult to contain.

Antibiotics do not work against viruses, so they are out of the question. Antiviral drugs can work, but the process of understanding a virus then developing and producing drugs to treat it would take years and huge amounts of money.

No vaccine exists for the coronavirus yet and it’s not likely one will be developed in time to be of any use in this outbreak, for similar reasons to the above.

The National Institutes of Health in the US, and Baylor University in Waco, Texas, say they are working on a vaccine based on what they know about coronaviruses in general, using information from the SARS outbreak. But this may take a year or more to develop, according to Pharmaceutical Technology.

Currently, governments and health authorities are working to contain the virus and to care for patients who are sick and stop them infecting other people.

People who catch the illness are being quarantined in hospitals, where their symptoms can be treated and they will be away from the uninfected public.

And airports around the world are putting in place screening measures such as having doctors on-site, taking people’s temperatures to check for fevers and using thermal screening to spot those who might be ill (infection causes a raised temperature).

However, it can take weeks for symptoms to appear, so there is only a small likelihood that patients will be spotted up in an airport.

Is this outbreak an epidemic or a pandemic?

The outbreak is an epidemic, which is when a disease takes hold of one community such as a country or region.

Although it has spread to dozens of countries, the outbreak is not yet classed as a pandemic, which is defined by the World Health Organization as the ‘worldwide spread of a new disease’.

The head of WHO’s global infectious hazard preparedness, Dr Sylvie Briand, said: ‘Currently we are not in a pandemic. We are at the phase where it is an epidemic with multiple foci, and we try to extinguish the transmission in each of these foci,’ the Guardian reported.

She said that most cases outside of Hubei had been ‘spillover’ from the epicentre, so the disease wasn’t actually spreading actively around the world.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-8015951/Most-coronavirus-infections-mild-says-Chinese-study.html

 

Virus cases balloon in S. Korea as outbreak shifts, spreads

 Schools were shuttered, churches told worshipers to stay away and some mass gatherings were banned as cases of a new virus swelled Friday in South Korea, the newest front in a widening global outbreak.

The country said two people have died and 204 have been infected with the virus, quadruple the number of cases it had two days earlier, as a crisis centered in China has begun strongly reverberating elsewhere.

The multiplying caseload in South Korea showed the ease with which the illness can spread. Though initial infections were linked to China, new ones have not involved international travel.

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The Pronk Pops Show 1339, October 11, 2019, Story 1: Subpoenaed Former U.S. Ambassador To Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch  Testifies Behind Close Doors of House Intelligence Committee — Videos — Story 2: American People Not Interested In Single Party Impeachment Behind Closed Doors of Star Chamber Inquiry — Those Who Voted For Trump in 2016 Will Again Vote For Trump Again in 2020 — Elections and Ideas Have Consequences — Big Fail of Big Lie Media and Lying Lunatic Leftist Losers — Videos

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Story 1: Subpoenaed Former U.S. Ambassador To Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch  Testifies Behind Close Doors of House Intelligence Committee — Videos

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MEDIA SMEARS REPORTER JOHN SOLOMON After Research on Ukraine, Biden, Democrats, Trump

Glenn Beck Reveals Bombshell Audio from Ukraine that Repudiates Impeachment Narrative

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Former ambassador to Ukraine blames Trump, Giuliani for ousting

PBS NewsHour full episode October 11, 2019

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Marie Yovanovitch says Trump ousted her over ‘unfounded and false claims’

The ex-U.S. ambassador to Ukraine’s appearance is a breakthrough for Democrats seeking details in their ongoing impeachment inquiry of Trump.

Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.

In her opening statement, obtained by POLITICO, Yovanovitch said Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan told her that there was “a concerted campaign” against her — one based on “unfounded and false claims by people with clearly questionable motives.” Yovanovitch attended her deposition in defiance of the State Department’s orders.

“He also said that I had done nothing wrong and that this was not like other situations where he had recalled ambassadors for cause,” Yovanovitch said of her conversation with Sullivan. Trump announced earlier Friday his intention to nominate Sullivan to be his new ambassador to Russia.

Yovanovich’s statement represented a top-to-bottom rebuke of the president, his associates, and his foreign policy — a rare takedown from a career diplomat who has sought to avoid the spotlight ever since her ouster. Yovanovitch expressed her “deep disappointment and dismay” at efforts to undermine trust in American institutions, and warned that “this nation’s most loyal and talented public servants” are running for the exits. She also said other countries would likely exploit the same dynamic that led to her ouster to undermine U.S. foreign policy.

Yovanovitch, who remains a State Department employee, was the latest firsthand witness to testify about Trump’s interactions with Ukraine, as he ramped up efforts to pressure the country’s new president to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a 2020 contender.

The chairs of the three House committees leading the investigation said the State Department and the White House had ordered Yovanovitch not to attend, prompting them to issue a subpoena. Yovanovitch, they said, agreed to comply with the subpoena over her agency’s objections, sitting for more than nine hours behind closed doors on Friday.

“Any efforts by Trump administration officials to prevent witness cooperation with the committees will be deemed obstruction of a co-equal branch of government and an adverse inference may be drawn against the president on the underlying allegations of corruption and cover-up,” said Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) and Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.).

Unlike the most recent witness in the Ukraine matter to testify — Kurt Volker, the former U.S. special representative for Ukraine negotiations — Yovanovitch is still employed by the State Department, which raises questions about whether she will face punishment for defying orders. Legal experts and State Department officials have been trying to resolve the question of whether a congressional subpoena trumps a State Department direction to a Foreign Service officer.

“Her willingness when served with compulsory process to follow the law and testify — I think she is a courageous example for others,” Schiff told reporters.

According to her statement, Yovanovitch was told “abruptly” in late April to return to Washington “on the next plane.” Her removal came amid a campaign by Trump’s allies to accuse her of disloyalty, a charge she said was “fictitious.” Trump himself attacked Yovanovitch during a phone call with Ukraine’s newly elected president Volodymyr Zelensky on July 25, which is at the center of Democrats’ impeachment inquiry. Trump referred to her as “bad news,” according to a summary of the conversation released by the White House. He also said, without elaboration, that she was “going to go through some things.”

Yovanovitch’s appearance on Capitol Hill Friday was a breakthrough for House Democrats seeking firsthand details about Trump’s efforts — both directly and through his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani — to pressure Ukraine’s leaders to investigate Biden.

Yovanovitch said she had “minimal contacts” with Giuliani, adding: “I do not know Mr. Giuliani’s motives for attacking me.” She speculated that Giuliani’s associates “believed that their personal financial ambitions were stymied by our anti-corruption policy in Ukraine.”

She also said U.S. interests are “harmed” when “private interests circumvent professional diplomats for their own gain, not the public good.” It appeared to be a reference to Giuliani’s efforts to leverage government officials to dig up dirt on Biden.

“The harm will come when bad actors in countries beyond Ukraine see how easy it is to use fiction and innuendo to manipulate our system,” she said in her opening statement. “In such circumstances, the only interests that will be served are those of our strategic adversaries, like Russia, that spread chaos and attack the institutions and norms that the U.S. helped create and which we have benefited from for the last 75 years.”

According to Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), an Intelligence Committee member, Yovanovitch at times “became overcome with emotion and had to stop and leave the room before recounting how she was thrown to the wolves.” He said Yovanovitch’s testimony “detailed a shocking abuse of presidential power.”

“It is clear to me that she was fired because she was a thorn in the side of those who sought to use the Ukrainian government for their own political and financial gain — and that includes President Trump,” Maloney added.

Some of the president’s closest Republican allies who sit on the committees spearheading the inquiry attended Yovanovitch’s deposition, including Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan and North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows. After the deposition concluded, they defended Trump from Yovanovitch’s charges and harangued Democrats for crafting a process whereby lawmakers are prohibited from discussing the substance of the testimony in public.

“The president of the United States is entitled to have the ambassador … he wants in that position,” Jordan said.

The State Department’s inspector general last Wednesday briefed congressional aides about an apparent attempt to smear the veteran civil servant. Two foreign-born associates of Giuliani — both indicted Thursday on campaign finance charges — have also been accused of seeking her removal at the behest of an unnamed Ukrainian government official.

Yovanovitch is a highly regarded diplomat within the U.S. foreign policy establishment. At the State Department, her treatment has unnerved many staffers, especially in the division that handles Europe. It also has damaged the standing of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who has been unwilling to publicly defend Yovanovitch.

Morale in the department was rattled even further this week after it was announced that Mike McKinley, a veteran career diplomat who serves as a top adviser to Pompeo, was resigning. The reasons for his departure, confirmed to POLITICO by a senior Trump administration official, were not clear, but the timing is not helping the morale, people in the department say.

Just as Yovanovitch agreed to testify, Trump’s representative to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, announced Friday morning that he would sit for a deposition next week, after similarly receiving a congressional subpoena.

“Notwithstanding the State Department’s current direction to not testify, Ambassador Sondland will honor the Committees’ subpoena, and he looks forward to testifying on Thursday,” his attorneys said in a statement.

But Sondland’s lawyers also said he would not be able to comply with House Democrats’ subpoena for documents, saying that “federal law and State Department regulations prohibit him from producing documents concerning his official responsibilities.” Some Republicans have been eager to let Sondland, a firm Trump ally, testify in a bid to buttress Trump’s position.

Harold Koh, a former State Department legal adviser, said his interpretation is that a congressional subpoena would outweigh a State Department directive. He noted that it’s also possible that, facing such a situation, State could order a staffer to limit his or her testimony, for example, by not discussing classified information.

It’s not clear if State will or even would be allowed to punish Yovanovitch. But sometimes such punishments are veiled. Yovanovitch could find herself given low-ranking assignments in the future, with no official reason as to why. There already are at least two ongoing federal investigations into whether, under Trump, State Department career employees have been victims of political retaliation, including being given low-level roles.

The State Department did not respond to a query Friday as to whether Yovanovitch or Sondland would face punishments.

Sondland’s name emerged in a series of text messages provided to House investigators by Volker, the former U.S. special representative for Ukraine negotiations who resigned days before testifying last week. In the text chain, Sondland, Volker and Bill Taylor — currently the top U.S. envoy in Ukraine — discussed apparent efforts by Trump and Giuliani to pressure Ukraine to investigate Biden, perhaps by withholding a planned White House visit or military aid.

Yovanovitch said she was not involved in discussions about Trump’s July 25 call with Zelensky, or about the military aid, which was temporarily withheld earlier this year. House Democrats are examining whether the critical funds were frozen as a way to convince Zelensky to target Trump’s political rovals.

Volker, Sondland and Yovanovitch were among several senior State Department officials listed in a schedule of depositions that accompanied a subpoena for documents delivered late last month to Pompeo by the three House Democratic chairmen leading the impeachment probe.

Pompeo rebuffed the committee leaders in a letter last Tuesday, signaling that he would not comply with their requests and writing that he would “use all means at my disposal to prevent and expose any attempts to intimidate the dedicated professionals whom I am proud to lead and serve alongside at the Department of State.”

Quint Forgey contributed to this story.

https://www.politico.com/f/?id=0000016d-bbc2-d25f-af7f-ffcab0070001

Fired diplomat unloads on Trump and Giuliani: Former ambassador to Ukraine defies bid to gag her and tells Congress she was ordered home after ‘concerted campaign based on false claims by people with clearly questionable motives’

  • U.S. envoy to the EU Gordon Sondland says he will testify to Congress about President Trump’s Ukraine scandal next week 
  • The State Department had ordered him not to participate in hearings
  • Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch gave closed-door testimony to Democrat-run House Intelligence Committee today
  • President has said he had ‘heard’ that Yovanovitch was ‘bad news’
  • Democrats want to know if she was recalled to Washington because she refused to push a corruption investigation into Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden
  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the ambassador appeared under subpoena 

The deputy secretary of state, Marie Yovanovitch said in written testimony, told her that the State Department ‘had been under pressure from the President to remove me since the Summer of 2018 

And in the latest development in the fierce back-and-worth between the White House and Congress, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch appeared under subpoena after the State Department directed her not to appear. 

‘This is the latest example of the Administration’s efforts to conceal the facts from the American people and obstruct our lawful and constitutionally-authorized impeachment inquiry,’ three House committee chairs said in a statement. They issued a subpoena to compel the testimony, prompting Yovanovitch to cooperate.

Yovanovitch defended herself against what she called ‘unfounded and false claims by people with clearly questionable motives,’ including a rumor that she had handed Ukraine’s top prosecutor a list of people who were not to be charged with crimes. 

She also dismissed public allegations that she had ‘supposedly told the Embassy team to ignore the President’s orders “since he was going to be impeached”.’ 

She rejected the contention that she was running interference for Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, as Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani has claimed in what he has cast as an effort to protect the Bidens and Hillary Clinton while undermining Trump.

‘Contacts of Mr. Giuliani may well have believed that their personal financial ambitions were stymied by our anti-corruption policy in Ukraine,’ the career diplomat who served presidents from both parties said.

Yovanovich said she was ‘incredulous’ that the administration chose remove her from her post in May.

President Donald Trump recalled Marie Yovanovitch (center), the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine; she talked to lawmakers behind closed doors on Friday

President Donald Trump recalled Marie Yovanovitch (center), the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine; she talked to lawmakers behind closed doors on Friday

Rep. Adam Schiff, a California Democrat who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, arrived Friday for Yovanovitch's deposition

Trump’s lawyers had promised to stonewall a congressional impeachment inquiry. Yovanovitch’s appearance behind closed doors was an early test of that defiance.

Yovanovich categorically denied the connection, put forth my a group of allies who pushed for her ouster, that she had stood in the way of the former prosecutor Viktor Lutsenko’s way when it came to investigations.

‘As for events during my tenure in Ukraine, I want to categorically state that I have never myself or through others, directly or indirectly, ever directed, suggested, or in any other way asked for any government or government official in Ukraine (or elsewhere) to refrain from investigating or prosecuting actual corruption,’ she said.

‘As Mr. Lutsenko, the former Ukrainian Prosecutor General has recently acknowledged, the notion that I created or disseminated a “do not prosecute” list is completely false—a story that Mr.Lutsenko, himself, has since retracted.’

She also disputed having ever run down President Trump. Trump in a transcript of his July call with the president of Ukraine called the ambassador ‘bad news.’

‘Equally fictitious is the notion that I am disloyal to President Trump. I have heard the allegation in the media that I supposedly told the Embassy team to ignore the President’s orders “since he was going to be impeached.” That allegation is false. I have never said such a thing, to my Embassy colleagues or to anyone else,’ she writes.

After daily revelations about efforts by President Trump and his allies to use U.S. government officials to push Ukraine to conduct politically sensitive probes, Yovanovich wrote: ‘Today, we see the State Department attacked and hollowed out from within.’

She expressed her shock at her own sudden removal.

‘Although I understand that I served at the pleasure of the President, I was nevertheless incredulous that the U.S. government chose to remove an Ambassador based, as best as I can tell, on unfounded and false claims by people with clearly questionable motives,’ she writes.

‘To make matters worse, all of this occurred during an especially challenging time in bilateral relations with a newly elected Ukrainian president. This was precisely the time when continuity in the Embassy in Ukraine was most needed.’

According to Yovanovich’s account, she was instructed to return to Washington ‘on the next plane’ in April of this year – just a month after being asked to stay on until 2020.

She said she tried to find out why she was forced out, and contacted the deputy secretary of state – John Sullivan.

‘He said that the President had lost confidence in me and no longer wished me to serve as his ambassador,’ according to Yovanovich.

‘He added that there had been a concerted campaign against me, and that the Department had been under pressure from the President to remove me since the Summer of 2018. He also said that I had done nothing wrong and that this was not like other situations where he had recalled ambassadors for cause.’  

The Trump administration announced Friday the president had nominated Sullivan to serve as the next ambassador to Russia. As such, he will face a confirmation hearing where senators will get the chance to ask him about State’s Ukraine dealings.

‘Today, we see the State Department attacked and hollowed out from within. State Department leadership, with Congress, needs to take action now to defend this great institution, and its thousands of loyal and effective employees,’ Yovanovich wrote. ‘We need to rebuild diplomacy as the first resort to advance America’s interests and the front line of America’s defense,’ she wrote.

Although Rudy Giuliani has publicly connected her to Ukrainian ‘collusion’ in 2016, Yovanovich said she has never spoken to him about the subjects at hand.

‘With respect to Mayor Giuliani, I have had only minimal contacts with him—a total of three that I recall. None related to the events at issue. ‘I do not know Mr. Giuliani’s motives for attacking me. But individuals who have been named in the press as contacts of Mr. Giuliani may well have believed that their personal financial ambitions were stymied by our anti-corruption policy in Ukraine,’ she said.

Campaign for Yovanovich’s ouster 

Yovanovich was the subject of a high-powered pressure campaign pushing for her removal.

In one key development, Lutsenko put forward the claim in an article by The Hill’s John Solomon that Yovanovich ‘gave me a list of people whom we should not prosecute. Lutsenko later walked back the claim, but it gained currency with a group of Trump loyalists.

Donald Trump Jr. tweeted March 24: ‘”We need more ⁦@RichardGrenell’s and less of these jokers as ambassadors,’ referencing the U.S. ambassador to Germany.

Trump ally Joseph DiGenova said on Fox News host Sean Hannity’s program that same month: ‘The current United States ambassador Marie Yovanovitch has bad- mouthed the President of the United States to Ukrainian officials and has told them not to listen or worry about Trump policy because he’s going to be impeached’ – the claim she explicitly denied Friday.

By July 25, Trump would tell Ukrainian president Zelenksy in an infamous call: ‘The former ambassador from the United States, the woman, was bad news and the people she was dealing with in the Ukraine were bad news so I just want to let you know that.’

Zelensky agreed with Trump ‘100 per cent.’

Then the president added cryptically of Yovanovich: ‘She’s going to go through some things.’

Also knocking Yovanovich was Texas Rep. Pete Sessions – who has a connection to two Rudy Giuiliani associates who were indicted Thursday on campaign finance charges.

Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman aided Giuliani’s unproven theory about Ukrainian electoral collusion. They also gave $325,000 to a pro-Trump super PAC (the feds allege it wasn’t actually their money) that spent $3 million to benefit Sessions.

Soon after Parnas and indicted co-conspirator David Correia met with Sessions at the Capitol in 2018, Parnas wrote a letter to Sec. State Mike Pompeo pushing the removal of Yovanovich.

Administration talking points obtained by CNN said House Intelligence Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff was putting Yovanovich in a ‘precarious position’ by questioning her in private without an administration lawyer who would advise her on what information may be classified.

Congressional lawmakers weren’t sure Yovanovich would show up Friday, after the White House said earlier this week it would refuse to cooperate with what Trump has termed ‘a kangaroo court.’

The inquiry was launched after a whistleblower complaint about a July 25 phone call in which Trump pressed his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, to investigate former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, a leading Democratic contender for the right to face Trump in the November 2020 election.

Donald Trump recalled Yovanovitch to Washington, and Democrats want to know if he made the move because she was suspicious of his desire to see Joe Biden investigated for corruption

Donald Trump recalled Yovanovitch to Washington, and Democrats want to know if he made the move because she was suspicious of his desire to see Joe Biden investigated for corruption

Democrats have accused Trump of pressuring a vulnerable foreign ally to dig up dirt on a domestic political opponent for his own political benefit. Trump has denied he did anything wrong on the call.

On Thursday, Parnas a Fruman, two foreign-born Florida businessmen who had helped Giuliani investigate the Bidens were arrested in what prosecutors said was a scheme to illegally funnel money to a pro-Trump election committee and other U.S. political candidates.

The pair, Ukraine-born Parnas and Belarus-born Fruman, were arrested at an airport outside Washington carrying one-way tickets to Vienna. Prosecutors said they conspired to contribute foreign money, including at least $1 million from an unidentified Russian businessman, to candidates for federal and state offices to buy influence.

The two had donated $325,000 to a pro-Trump political action committee called America First Action in May 2018, and the money was falsely reported as coming from a purported natural gas company set up to conceal its true source, according to the indictment.

Trump remains defiant in face of impeachment during Minneapolis rally

The testimony from Yovanovitch is the first of several depositions of key figures planned by the House committees spearheading the probe, and whether she makes her appearance will offer an early gauge of White House cooperation.

Yovanovitch, described by colleagues as a consummate professional, became the target in March of allegations – vehemently denied by the State Department – that she gave a Ukrainian prosecutor a list of people not to prosecute.

According to a White House summary, Trump described her as ‘bad news’ to Zelensky in the July call in which he sought Zelinsky’s help to investigate Biden and his son. ‘She’s going to go through some things,’ Trump added.

One of the foreign-born businessman arrested on Thursday, Parnas, sought the help of a U.S. congressman – identified by a person familiar with the matter as Republican Pete Sessions – to get Trump to remove Yovanovitch, according to the indictment.

Giuliani told Reuters last week he had provided information to both Trump and the State Department about Yovanovitch, who he suggested was biased against Trump.

Sessions lost his House seat from Texas last year to a Democrat. In a statement quoted by Politico, he said his motivation in urging the removal of Yovanovitch was his belief that ‘political appointees should not be disparaging the president, especially while serving overseas.’

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7561585/Former-Ukraine-envoy-scheduled-testify-Trump-impeachment-probe.html

 

Former ambassador testifies that Trump pushed for her ouster

For only the fourth time in U.S. history, the House of Representatives has started a presidential impeachment inquiry. House committees are trying to determine if President Donald Trump violated his oath of office by asking a foreign country to investigate a political opponent.

Here’s a quick summary of the latest news:

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

– Testifying in defiance of Trump’s ban, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch told House impeachment investigators Friday that Trump himself had pressured the State Department to oust her from her post and get her out of the country.

– A simple yes-or-no question keeps tripping up Senate Republicans: Should the president ask foreign countries to investigate political rivals?

– As the threat of impeachment looms, Trump is digging in and taking solace in the base that helped him get elected: conservative evangelical Christians who laud his commitment to enacting their agenda.

President Donald Trump adjusts his jacket as he walks toward reporters on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Friday, Oct. 11, 2019, before departing for a campaign rally in Lake Charles, La. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Nearly all House Democrats – 229 out of 235 – say they support the inquiry that could lead to an impeachment vote against Trump, according to an AP survey of members. Add Republican-turned-independent Justin Amash of Michigan, who also backs the inquiry, and the total rises to 230. Democrats need 218 votes to pass articles of impeachment.

Only four Democrats have said they oppose the probe: Reps. Anthony Brindisi of New York, Kendra Horn of Oklahoma, Collin Peterson of Minnesota and Jefferson Van Drew of New Jersey.

Rep. Jared Golden of Maine is undecided about the probe and Rep. Lucy McBath of Georgia has not stated her position to the AP.

All these Democrats have one thing in common: Donald Trump won their districts in 2016.

__

Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch testified to congressional investigators behind closed doors Friday, but her prepared opening remarks were obtained by the AP. In them, she expresses dismay at being recalled from Kyiv after learning that Trump had “lost confidence” in her and had pressed the State Department to remove her.

http://apne.ws/3feeyLS

Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, left, arrives on Capitol Hill, Friday, Oct. 11, 2019, in Washington, as she is scheduled to testify before congressional lawmakers on Friday as part of the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, left, arrives on Capitol Hill, Friday, Oct. 11, 2019, in Washington, as she is scheduled to testify before congressional lawmakers on Friday as part of the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty

A controversial right-leaning reporter at the center of the Trump-Ukraine scandal emailed a copy of one of his stories—before it was published—to a top ally of Rudy Giuliani, as well as two pro-Trump investigators attempting to dig up negative information on the Biden family.

In March, The Hill’s investigative reporter John Solomon published a story claiming that the U.S. government had pressured Ukrainian prosecutors to drop a probe of a group funded by the Obama administration and liberal billionaire George Soros. The story was published at 6 p.m., according to a timestamp on the paper’s website. Solomon himself didn’t share it on his Twitter account until 6:56 p.m. that night. The earliest cache of the story in the Internet Archive is from 7:42 p.m. Eastern time.

But hours before that, at 12:52 p.m. Eastern time, Solomon appears to have sent a version of the article to Ukrainian-American businessman Lev Parnas and the Trumpworld lawyers Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing. The email was titled “Outline of Soros reporting, including embedded documents” and included the headline and the text of his piece.

Natasha Bertrand

@NatashaBertrand

Here’s the page from the packet that @ErinBanco shared yesterday (with emails blacked out by me) https://twitter.com/lachlan/status/1179564577845104640 

View image on Twitter

Lachlan Markay

@lachlan

So @ErinBanco and @maxwelltani got a page from the State Department oppo dossier that Rudy fed to Pompeo. It appears to show John Solomon sending an advance copy of one of his Ukraine stories to Joe diGenova, Victoria Toensing, and Lev Parnas https://www.thedailybeast.com/biden-ukraine-dirt-file-has-private-email-between-john-solomon-and-rudy-allies 

274 people are talking about this

Two congressional sources confirmed to The Daily Beast that Solomon’s email was part of a roughly 50-page package of material that was turned over to lawmakers on Wednesday by the State Department’s Inspector General’s office. Reuters was the first to report the email’s inclusion in the packet.

That material, according to congressional sources, appeared to be a “misinformation” effort meant to smear the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine and the Bidens. CNN reported on Wednesday that Giuliani had conceded that the information in the package originated, at least in part, with him.

“They told me they were going to investigate it,” Giuliani said to CNN, referring to a call he got from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Neither Solomon nor The Hill responded to request for comment from The Daily Beast. But in a series of tweets Wednesday night, Solomon said he sent the email “as a reporter fact-checking my work”—although the email contained the text of a fully drafted story, not isolated items that needed vetting.

“The email released to the public appears to omit the opening line of my originally sent email,” Solomon claimed in the tweets. “Here is the passage that preceded the summary of my reporting. ‘Appreciate eyeballing for accuracy. Want to be fair and accurate.’ That’s not scandalous. It’s good journalism.”

John Solomon@jsolomonReports

Today I understand the State Department IG released a private email I sent as a reporter fact-checking my work before I published a story back in March. I typically spend a long period of time before any column or news story fact-checking information with numerous people.

6,715 people are talking about this

Emails sent to the addresses Solomon used for Parnas, diGenova and Toensing did not bounce back but were not returned.

Solomon’s email to Parnas, diGenova, and Toensing suggests even stronger ties between the Hill columnist and the Trump team tasked with digging up dirt on Biden abroad. And it raises questions about the degree to which pro-Trump figures were working directly with sympathetic journalists to try and dig up and spread dirt on Biden and like-minded Democrats.

Solomon’s March 29 story about the U.S. embassy in Ukraine makes no direct mention of Parnas, diGenova, or Toensing—instead, the piece cites a letter about the probe from U.S. embassy official George Kent, and claims by former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko that the U.S. pressured him to halt an investigation into the Soros- and U.S.-backed group. But the three individuals have emerged as key players in the lead-up to Trump’s request for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to work with Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, to investigate the Bidens.

Parnas, a Giuliani friend and golf buddy, was a key player in connecting the former New York City mayor to former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin, whom Biden and other top Western government entities and officials had hoped to push out because of his perceived inaction tackling corruption.

DiGenova and Toensing have been some of the president’s most trusted outside allies for years. During  Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation last year, the duo was briefly mentioned as possibilities to join the president’s legal defense team. On Sunday, Fox News reported that diGenova and Toensing had been working alongside Giuliani to dig up dirt on Biden—a revelation that the New York Times had noted months prior.

Solomon’s work has come under intense scrutiny following the revelation that a series of his stories about Ukraine may have helped spark events leading to Trump’s request that President Zelensky team up with Giuliani to investigate the Bidens.

On March 20, Solomon published an interview with Lutsenko in which the ex-prosecutor accused the former vice president of having pressured the then-Ukrainian president in 2016 to fire Lutsenko’s predecessor, Shokin. The insinuation, according to Lutsenko, was that Biden hoped to quash an investigation into a Ukrainian gas company connected to his son Hunter Biden. Despite Lutsenko’s retraction of some of the claims, and conclusion that Hunter Biden “did not violate any Ukrainian laws,” the incident was cited in a U.S. government whistleblower’s complaint as one of the circumstances that eventually led to Trump’s call with Zelensky.

Meanwhile, The Washington Post reported new details Wednesday night about Giuliani’s dirt-digging on another front: He’s been consulting via a lawyer with Trump’s imprisoned former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort to inquire about the so-called black ledger that reportedly revealed a Ukrainian political party had funneled millions to Manafort. Giuliani believes the ledger was part of a conspiracy by Ukrainians to interfere in the 2016 election on behalf of Hillary Clinton

https://www.thedailybeast.com/biden-ukraine-dirt-file-has-private-email-between-john-solomon-and-rudy-allies

Devin Nunes: Lawmakers investigating rumors of ‘strange requests’ to monitor journalists

Rep. Devin Nunes said lawmakers have been told about “strange requests” to use government resources to monitor journalists.

The top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee stressed Wednesday evening that he has not confirmed the allegations but is seeking answers from the State Department.

During an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity, Nunes talked about a letter by former GOP congressman Pete Sessions to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that he said raised concerns that former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch was “not serving the Trump administration well” and was removed from her post earlier this year.

“We also have concerns that possibly they were monitoring press from different journalists and others,” Nunes said. “That we don’t know, but we have people who are giving us this information and we’re going to ask these questions to the State Department and hopefully they’re going to get the answers before she comes in on Friday.”

With Yovanovitch set to testify before the House this week as Democrats ramp up their impeachment inquiry spurred by Trump’s communications with Ukraine, Nunes said Republicans “will give her an opportunity to answer these questions.”

Hannity said he has heard from multiple sources who “believe there is evidence that government resources were used to monitor communications” of American journalists, including new Fox News contributor John Solomon, related to Ukraine and posited that Yovanovitch may have been involved.

But Nunes would not get into specifics and noted that if there was some sort of surveillance, it may have been done properly.

“What I’ve heard — and I want to be clear — there’s a difference. What I’ve heard is that there were strange requests, irregular requests to monitor not just one journalist, but multiple journalists. Now perhaps that was OK. Perhaps there was some reason for that — that it can be explained away. But that’s what we know and that’s what we’re going to be looking into,” the California Republican said.

Solomon appeared on the show after Nunes and also preached caution. He said he “received multiple contacts from the intelligence community suggesting that there may have been inappropriate monitoring of my communications” but added that it’s not yet clear what exactly transpired and that what may have happened was just monitoring of his social media.

“I think we need to dig in more. Ambassador Yovanovitch should be given an opportunity and Secretary of State Pompeo should tell us what happened,” Solomon said.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/devin-nunes-lawmakers-investigating-rumors-of-strange-requests-to-monitor-journalists

Joe Biden’s 2020 Ukrainian nightmare: A closed probe is revived

Two years after leaving office, Joe Biden couldn’t resist the temptation last year to brag to an audience of foreign policy specialists about the time as vice president that he strong-armed Ukraine into firing its top prosecutor.

In his own words, with video cameras rolling, Biden described how he threatened Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in March 2016 that the Obama administration would pull $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees, sending the former Soviet republic toward insolvency, if it didn’t immediately fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.

“Well, son of a bitch, he got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time,” Biden told the Council on Foreign Relations event, insisting that President Obama was in on the threat.

Interviews with a half-dozen senior Ukrainian officials confirm Biden’s account, though they claim the pressure was applied over several months in late 2015 and early 2016, not just six hours of one dramatic day. Whatever the case, Poroshenko and Ukraine’s parliament obliged by ending Shokin’s tenure as prosecutor. Shokin was facing steep criticism in Ukraine, and among some U.S. officials, for not bringing enough corruption prosecutions when he was fired.

But Ukrainian officials tell me there was one crucial piece of information that Biden must have known but didn’t mention to his audience: The prosecutor he got fired was leading a wide-ranging corruption probe into the natural gas firm Burisma Holdings that employed Biden’s younger son, Hunter, as a board member.

U.S. banking records show Hunter Biden’s American-based firm, Rosemont Seneca Partners LLC, received regular transfers into one of its accounts — usually more than $166,000 a month — from Burisma from spring 2014 through fall 2015, during a period when Vice President Biden was the main U.S. official dealing with Ukraine and its tense relations with Russia.

The general prosecutor’s official file for the Burisma probe — shared with me by senior Ukrainian officials — shows prosecutors identified Hunter Biden, business partner Devon Archer and their firm, Rosemont Seneca, as potential recipients of money.

Shokin told me in written answers to questions that, before he was fired as general prosecutor, he had made “specific plans” for the investigation that “included interrogations and other crime-investigation procedures into all members of the executive board, including Hunter Biden.”

He added: “I would like to emphasize the fact that presumption of innocence is a principle in Ukraine” and that he couldn’t describe the evidence further.

The timing of Hunter Biden’s and Archer’s appointment to Burisma’s board has been highlighted in the past, by The New York Times in December 2015 and in a 2016 book by conservative author Peter Schweizer.

Although Biden made no mention of his son in his 2018 speech, U.S. and Ukrainian authorities both told me Biden and his office clearly had to know about the general prosecutor’s probe of Burisma and his son’s role. They noted that:

  • Hunter Biden’s appointment to the board was widely reported in American media;
  • The U.S. Embassy in Kiev that coordinated Biden’s work in the country repeatedly and publicly discussed the general prosecutor’s case against Burisma;
  • Great Britain took very public action against Burisma while Joe Biden was working with that government on Ukraine issues;
  • Biden’s office was quoted, on the record, acknowledging Hunter Biden’s role in Burisma in a New York Times article about the general prosecutor’s Burisma case that appeared four months before Biden forced the firing of Shokin. The vice president’s office suggested in that article that Hunter Biden was a lawyer free to pursue his own private business deals.

President Obama named Biden the administration’s point man on Ukraine in February 2014, after a popular revolution ousted Russia-friendly President Viktor Yanukovych and as Moscow sent military forces into Ukraine’s Crimea territory.

According to Schweizer’s book, Vice President Biden met with Archer in April 2014 right as Archer was named to the board at Burisma. A month later, Hunter Biden was named to the board, to oversee Burisma’s legal team.

But the Ukrainian investigation and Joe Biden’s effort to fire the prosecutor overseeing it has escaped without much public debate.

Most of the general prosecutor’s investigative work on Burisma focused on three separate cases, and most stopped abruptly once Shokin was fired. The most prominent of the Burisma cases was transferred to a different Ukrainian agency, closely aligned with the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, known as the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), according to the case file and current General Prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko.

NABU closed that case, and a second case involving alleged improper money transfers in London was dropped when Ukrainian officials failed to file the necessary documents by the required deadline. The general prosecutor’s office successfully secured a multimillion-dollar judgment in a tax evasion case, Lutsenko said. He did not say who was the actual defendant in that case.

As a result, the Biden family appeared to have escaped the potential for an embarrassing inquiry overseas in the final days of the Obama administration and during an election in which Democrat Hillary Clintonwas running for president in 2016.

But then, as Biden’s 2020 campaign ramped up over the past year, Lutsenko — the Ukrainian prosecutor that Biden once hailed as a “solid” replacement for Shokin — began looking into what happened with the Burisma case that had been shut down.

Lutsenko told me that, while reviewing the Burisma investigative files, he discovered “members of the Board obtained funds as well as another U.S.-based legal entity, Rosemont Seneca Partners LLC, for consulting services.”

Lutsenko said some of the evidence he knows about in the Burisma case may interest U.S. authorities and he’d like to present that information to new U.S. Attorney General William Barr, particularly the vice president’s intervention.

“Unfortunately, Mr. Biden had correlated and connected this aid with some of the HR (personnel) issues and changes in the prosecutor’s office,” Lutsenko said.

Nazar Kholodnytskyi, the lead anti-corruption prosecutor in Lutsenko’s office, confirmed to me in an interview that part of the Burisma investigation was reopened in 2018, after Joe Biden made his remarks. “We were able to start this case again,” Kholodnytskyi said.

But he said the separate Ukrainian police agency that investigates corruption has dragged its feet in gathering evidence. “We don’t see any result from this case one year after the reopening because of some external influence,” he said, declining to be more specific.

Ukraine is in the middle of a hard-fought presidential election, is a frequent target of intelligence operations by neighboring Russia and suffers from rampant political corruption nationwide. Thus, many Americans might take the restart of the Burisma case with a grain of salt, and rightfully so.

But what makes Lutsenko’s account compelling is that federal authorities in America, in an entirely different case, uncovered financial records showing just how much Hunter Biden’s and Archer’s company received from Burisma while Joe Biden acted as Obama’s point man on Ukraine.

Between April 2014 and October 2015, more than $3 million was paid out of Burisma accounts to an account linked to Biden’s and Archer’s Rosemont Seneca firm, according to the financial records placed in a federal court file in Manhattan in an unrelated case against Archer.

The bank records show that, on most months when Burisma money flowed, two wire transfers of $83,333.33 each were sent to the Rosemont Seneca–connected account on the same day. The same Rosemont Seneca–linked account typically then would pay Hunter Biden one or more payments ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 each. Prosecutors reviewed internal company documents and wanted to interview Hunter Biden and Archer about why they had received such payments, according to interviews.

Lutsenko said Ukrainian company board members legally can pay themselves for work they do if it benefits the company’s bottom line, but prosecutors never got to determine the merits of the payments to Rosemont because of the way the investigation was shut down.

As for Joe Biden’s intervention in getting Lutsenko’s predecessor fired in the midst of the Burisma investigation, Lutsenko suggested that was a matter to discuss with Attorney General Barr: “Of course, I would be happy to have a conversation with him about this issue.”

As the now-completed Russia collusion investigation showed us, every American deserves the right to be presumed innocent until evidence is made public or a conviction is secured, especially when some matters of a case involve foreigners. The same presumption should be afforded to Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, Devon Archer and Burisma in the Ukraine case.

Nonetheless, some hard questions should be answered by Biden as he prepares, potentially, to run for president in 2020: Was it appropriate for your son and his firm to cash in on Ukraine while you served as point man for Ukraine policy? What work was performed for the money Hunter Biden’s firm received? Did you know about the Burisma probe? And when it was publicly announced that your son worked for Burisma, should you have recused yourself from leveraging a U.S. policy to pressure the prosecutor who very publicly pursued Burisma?

John Solomon is an award-winning investigative journalist whose work over the years has exposed U.S. and FBI intelligence failures before the Sept. 11 attacks, federal scientists’ misuse of foster children and veterans in drug experiments, and numerous cases of political corruption. He serves as an investigative columnist and executive vice president for video at The Hill.

https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/436816-joe-bidens-2020-ukrainian-nightmare-a-closed-probe-is-revived

Marie Yovanovitch

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Marie Yovanovitch
Marie L. Yovanovitch.jpg
9th United States Ambassador to Ukraine
In office
August 29, 2016 – May 20, 2019
President Barack Obama
Donald Trump
Preceded by Geoffrey Pyatt
Succeeded by Kristina Kvien (Acting)
United States Ambassador to Armenia
In office
September 22, 2008 – June 9, 2011
President George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Preceded by John Evans
Succeeded by John Heffern
United States Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan
In office
February 4, 2005 – February 4, 2008
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Stephen Young
Succeeded by Tatiana Gfoeller
Personal details
Born 1958 (age 60–61)
MontrealCanada
Education Princeton University (BA)
National Defense University (MS)

Marie Louise Yovanovitch (born 1958)[1] is a member of the senior ranks of the United States Foreign Service who served as the 9th United States Ambassador to Ukraine. She was nominated to the post on May 18, 2016, to replace Geoff Pyatt,[2][3] was sworn in on August 18, 2016,[4] and was recalled as of May 20, 2019.[5] She is a diplomat in residence at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University.[6][7]

Yovanovitch was the United States Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan from November 20, 2004, to February 4, 2008, and the United States Ambassador to Armenia from August 1, 2008, to June 3, 2011.[1]

Contents

Early life

Marie Yovanovitch is the daughter of Mikhail Yovanovitch and Nadia (Theokritoff) Yovanovitch.[8] Her paternal grandparents were of Russian Serbian origin. She was born in Canada, moved to Connecticut when she was three, and became a naturalized American citizen at age eighteen. She grew up speaking Russian.[6]

Yovanovitch is a graduate of Kent School, a private boarding school in Connecticut, and Princeton University, where she earned a B.A. in History and Russian Studies in 1980. She studied at the Pushkin Institute (1980) and was awarded an M.S. from the National Defense University‘s National War College in 2001.[9]

Career

Yovanovitch joined the U.S. foreign service in 1986. Her first foreign assignment, in Ottawa, was followed by overseas assignments including MoscowLondon, and Mogadishu.[9] From May 1998 to May 2000 she served as the Deputy Director of the Russian Desk in the U.S. Department of State.

From August 2001 to June 2004, as a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, she was the Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in KievUkraine.[10] From August 2004 to May 2005 she was the Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs.

Yovanovitch was nominated on June 3, 2005 to serve as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Kyrgyz Republic, and confirmed by the United States Senate on June 30, 2005. She was the United States Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan from November 20, 2004, to February 4, 2008, and the United States Ambassador to Armenia from August 1, 2008, to June 3, 2011.

Yovanovitch was nominated to be the ambassador to Ukraine on May 18, 2016, to replace Geoff Pyatt, and was sworn in on August 18, 2016.[2][3][4]

Trump–Ukraine controversy

In May 2019, the Trump administration recalled Yovanovitch as ambassador to Ukraine.[11] Although Yovanovitch was respected within the national security community for her efforts to encourage Ukraine to tackle corruption, she had been accused, without firm evidence, by some conservative media outlets and by President Trump‘s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, as well as Ukraine’s then-top prosecutor, Yuri Lutsenko, of being part of a conspiracy involving anti-corruption probes in Ukraine and efforts by the Trump administration to investigate ties between Ukrainian officials and the Hillary Clinton campaign.[6][12] [13] However, the U.S. State Department declared some of the allegations by Yuriy Lutsenko to be “an outright fabrication.”[12]

Relying upon unnamed sources, the Wall Street Journal reported that Yovanovitch was recalled for undermining and obstructing Trump’s efforts to persuade Ukraine to investigate former vice president and 2020 U.S. presidential election candidate Joe Biden.[14]

On October 11, 2019, Yovanovitch gave a closed-door testimony before the House Committees on Oversight and Reform, Foreign Affairs and Intelligence. She released a ten-page opening statement in which she wrote:

Understanding Ukraine’s recent history, including the significant tension between those who seek to transform the country and those who wish to continue profiting from the old ways, is of critical importance to understanding the events you asked me here today to describe. Many of those events—and the false narratives that emerged from them—resulted from an unfortunate alliance between Ukrainians who continue to operate within a corrupt system, and Americans who either did not understand that corrupt system, or who may have chosen, for their own purposes, to ignore it.[15]

See also

References …

Sources

External links

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Stephen Young
United States Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan
2005–2008
Succeeded by
Tatiana Gfoeller
Preceded by
John Evans
United States Ambassador to Armenia
2008–2011
Succeeded by
John Heffern
Preceded by
Geoffrey Pyatt
United States Ambassador to Ukraine
2016–2019
Succeeded by
Kristina Kvien
Acting

Hunter Biden

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Hunter Biden
R. Hunter Biden at Center for Strategic & International Studies.jpg

Vice Chairman of the National Railroad Passenger Corporation
In office
July 26, 2006 – January 29, 2009
President George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Succeeded by Jeffrey Moreland
Personal details
Born
Robert Hunter Biden

February 4, 1970 (age 49)
WilmingtonDelaware, U.S.

Political party Democratic
Spouse(s)
Kathleen Buhle
(m. 1993; div. 2017)
Melissa Cohen (m. 2019)
Domestic partner Hallie Olivere (2016–2019)
Children 3
Relatives Joe Biden (father)
See Biden family
Education Georgetown University (BA)
Yale University (JD)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Navy
Years of service 2013–2014
Rank US Navy O1 infobox.svg Ensign
Unit United States Navy Reserve

Robert Hunter Biden (born February 4, 1970) is an American lawyer and lobbyist who is the second son of former U.S. Vice PresidentJoe Biden. He co-founded Rosemont Seneca Partners, an international consulting firm.

In 2019, Biden resigned from the Board of Directors of a Chinese company.[1][2]

Biden served on the board of Burisma Holdings, a major Ukrainian natural gas producer, from 2014 to 2019. In 2019, President Donald Trump falsely claimed that Joe Biden had sought the dismissal of a Ukrainian prosecutor in order to protect Hunter Biden from investigation.[3][4][5] However, Hunter Biden was not under investigation,[6] and there is no evidence of wrongdoing done by him in Ukraine.[7] Trump’s alleged attempt to pressure the Ukrainian government to investigate the Bidens by withholding foreign aid[8][9][10] triggered an impeachment inquiry in September 2019.

Contents

Early life

Biden was born on February 4, 1970,[11] in Wilmington, Delaware. He is the second son of Neilia Biden (née Hunter) and Joe Biden, the latter of whom represented Delaware in the United States Senate from 1973 to 2009 and served as Vice President of the United States from 2009 to 2017.[4] Hunter Biden’s mother and younger sister, Naomi, were killed in an automobile crash on December 18, 1972.[12][13] Biden and his older brother, Beau, were also seriously injured in that crash.[4] Hunter and Beau Biden later encouraged their father to marry again,[14] and Jill Jacobs became Hunter and Beau’s stepmother in 1977.[4] Biden’s half-sister, Ashley, was born in 1981.[15]

Like his father and brother, Biden attended Archmere Academy, a Catholic high school in Claymont, Delaware. In 1992, he graduated from Georgetown University with a bachelor’s degree in history. During the year after he graduated from college, he served as a Jesuit volunteer at a church in Portland, Oregon, where he met and eventually married Kathleen Buhle. After attending Georgetown University Law Center for one year, he transferred to Yale Law School, graduating in 1996.[4]

Career

Early positions, 1996–2009

After graduating from law school, Biden took a position at MBNA America, a major bank holding company which was also a major contributor to his father’s political campaigns. By 1998, he had risen to the rank of executive vice president.[4] From 1998 to 2001, he served in the United States Department of Commerce, focusing on ecommerce policy.[16] Biden became a lobbyist in 2001, co-founding the firm of Oldaker, Biden & Belair.[17] According to Adam Entous of The New Yorker, Biden and his father established a relationship in which “Biden wouldn’t ask Hunter about his lobbying clients, and Hunter wouldn’t tell his father about them.”[4] In 2006, Biden and his uncle, James Biden, attempted to buy Paradigm, a hedge-fund group, but the deal fell apart before completion.[4] That same year, Biden was appointed by President George W. Bush to the board of directors of Amtrak; he was on the board of Amtrak from 2006 to 2009.[16]

Later career, 2009–present

After his father was elected as vice president in 2008, Biden resigned from his position on the Amtrak board of directors and left his career as a lobbyist.[4] Along with Christopher Heinz, stepson of John Kerry, and Devon Archer, Biden founded the investment firm Rosemont Seneca.[17]

He also became an attorney with the law firm Boies Schiller Flexner LLP,[4] and founded Eudora Global, a venture capital firm.[15]

U.S. Navy Reserve

In May 2013, Biden was selected as a direct commission officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve, receiving an age-related waiver and a second waiver due to a past drug-related incident.[18] Joe Biden administered the commissioning oath to Hunter Biden in a White House ceremony.[4]

The following month, Biden tested positive for cocaine during a urinalysis test and was subsequently discharged.[19] According to Biden, he had unwittingly consumed the cocaine after being given cigarettes he believed were surreptitiously laced with the drug.[4] He chose not to appeal the matter as it was unlikely that the panel would believe his explanation given his history with drugs, and also due to the likelihood of news leaking to the press, though it was ultimately revealed to The Wall Street Journal by a Navy official who provided information to the newspaper on condition of anonymity.[4][18]

BHR Partners

In 2013, Biden, Devon Archer, and Chinese businessman Jonathan Li founded BHR Partners, a business focused on investing Chinese capital in companies based outside of China.[4] In September 2019, President Trump falsely claimed that Biden “walk[ed] out of China with $1.5 billion in a fund” and earned “millions” of dollars from the BHR deal, while Trump was also accusing Biden of malfeasance in Ukraine.[20][21] Trump publicly called on China to investigate Hunter Biden’s business activities there while his father was vice president.[22][23] On October 13, 2019, citing “the barrage of false charges” by the President, Hunter Biden announced his resignation from the Board of Directors for BHR Partners effective at the end of the month.[24][25] According to his lawyer, Biden had “not received any compensation for being on BHR’s board of directors,” nor had he received any return on his equity share in BHR.[26] Biden’s lawyer, George Mesires, told The Washington Post that BHR Partners had been “capitalized from various sources with a total of 30 million RMB [Chinese Renminbi], or about $4.2 million, not $1.5 billion.”[20]

Burisma Holdings

In the aftermath of the 2014 Ukrainian revolutionMykola Zlochevsky faced a money laundering investigation,[27][28] and his company Burisma Holdings, the largest natural gas producer in Ukraine,[4] assembled a “high-profile international board” in response.[29][28] Chris Heinz, John Kerry‘s stepson, opposed his partners Devon Archer and Hunter Biden joining the board in 2014 due to the reputational risk.[28] Among those who joined the board of directors in April 2014 were Biden, Archer and former Polish president Aleksander Kwasniewski.[30] Biden served on the board of Burisma until his term expired in April 2019,[31] receiving compensation of up to $50,000 per month in some months.[17][32][33] Because Vice President Biden played a major role in U.S. policy towards Ukraine, some Ukrainian anti-corruption advocates[5][34] and Obama administration officials expressed concern that Hunter Biden’s having joined the board could create the appearance of a conflict of interest and undermine Vice President Biden’s anti-corruption work in Ukraine.[4][28] While serving as vice president, Joe Biden joined other Western leaders in encouraging the government of Ukraine to fire the country’s top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin,[3][35] who was widely criticized for blocking corruption investigations.[36][37] The Ukrainian parliament voted to remove Shokin in March 2016.[38][39]

In 2019, President Donald Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, claimed that Vice President Biden had actually sought the dismissal of Shokin in order to protect his son and Burisma Holdings,[40][5] however, there is no evidence that this was what happened.[3]There has also been no evidence produced of wrongdoing done by Hunter Biden in Ukraine.[7] The Ukrainian anti-corruption investigation agency stated in September 2019 that the investigation of Burisma was restricted solely to investigating the period of 2010 to 2012, before Hunter Biden joined Burisma in 2014.[6] Shokin in May 2019 claimed that he was fired because he was actively investigating Burisma,[41] but U.S. and Ukrainian officials have stated that the investigation into Burisma was dormant at the time of Shokin’s dismissal.[28][41][42] Ukrainian sources have maintained that Shokin was fired for failing to address corruption, including within his office.[34][43]

In July 2019, Trump ordered the freezing of $391 million in military aid[44] shortly before a telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which Trump asked Zelensky to initiate an investigation of the Bidens.[45][46] Trump falsely told Zelensky that “[Joe] Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution” of his son; Joe Biden did not stop any prosecution, did not brag about doing so, and there is no evidence his son was ever under investigation.[47] On September 24, 2019, the United States House of Representatives initiated a formal impeachment inquiry against Trump on the grounds that he may have sought to use U.S. foreign aid and the Ukrainian government to damage Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign.[48][49]

Ukrainian prosecutor general Yuriy Lutsenko said in May 2019 that Hunter Biden had not violated Ukrainian law. After Lutsenko was replaced by Ruslan Ryaboshapka as prosecutor general, Lutsenko and Ryaboshapka said in September and October 2019 respectively that they had seen no evidence of wrongdoing by Hunter Biden.[3][50][51]

CEFC China Energy

Biden helped Chinese businessman Ye Jianming negotiate a deal for Ye’s company CEFC China Energy to make a $40 million investment in a liquefied natural gas project at Monkey Island, Louisiana. Ye gifted Biden a 2.8 carat diamond, which Biden said he gave away. Biden agreed to legally represent Ye’s deputy, Patrick Ho, for investigations in the United States. Ho was eventually arrested and jailed in the U.S. for bribery. In 2018, the CEFC deal collapsed after Ye was detained in China, reportedly for corruption.[4][17]

Personal life

Biden married Kathleen Buhle in 1993,[4] and they have three children, Naomi, Finnegan, and Maisy.[15] Biden and Kathleen separated in 2015 and divorced in 2017.[52] In 2016, he began dating Hallie Biden, the widow of his brother, Beau;[53] they ended their relationship by early 2019.[54] In May 2019, Biden married Melissa Cohen, a South-African filmmaker.[55][56]

Biden spent decades struggling with alcohol and drug abuse. He has described his experiences as so: “There’s addiction in every family. I was in that darkness. I was in that tunnel—it’s a never-ending tunnel. You don’t get rid of it. You figure out how to deal with it.”[57][58]

See also

References …

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunter_Biden

Alexandra Chalupa

Alexandra Chalupa, Melanne Verveer, and Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur’s Ukraine linkages. Chalupa held multiple intelligence briefing and debriefing sessions regarding president Trump with Okana Shulyar and other Ukrainian embassy staff.[1]

Alexandra Chalupa it a Ukrainian-American operative who was consulting for the Democratic National Committee. Chalupa met with top officials in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington DC in an effort to expose ties between Paul Manafort and Russia. The DNC paid her $412,000 from 2004 to June 2016, according to Federal Election Commission records.

In 1998, Alexandra Chalupa gained employment at the Office of Public Liaison as an intern in the Clinton White House. Chalupa worked as executive director for Democrats Abroad in the 2000s. In 2004, Alexandra was hired as a staffer / consultant at the Democratic National Committee. She also became headed the Democratic Heritage Council much later.

In 2014, the U.S. United With Ukraine Coalition was founded by Alexandra Chalupa.

In 2016 led the DNC’s opposition research into any Trump ties to Russia.[2] Chalupa organized social media campaigns against Trump. One of those efforts encouraged activists to share the Twitter hashtag, #TreasonousTrump.

Ukrainian collusion

See also: Biden-Ukraine collusion scandal

According to the Kyiv Post,

“Chalupa said she first came across Manafort after she organized a meeting with then-U.S. President Barack Obama’s National Security Council and leaders of Ukrainian-American organizations in January 2014, to brief the White House about the Euromaidan Revolution that drove President Viktor Yanukovych from power on Feb. 22, 2014.”

In late 2015, Alexandra Chalupa expanded her research into Paul Manafort to include the Trump campaign and possible ties to Russia.

In January 2016, Chalupa informed an unknown senior DNC official that she believed there was a Russian connection with the Trump campaign. Notably, this theme would be picked up by the Clinton campaign in the summer of 2016. Chalupa also told the official to expect Manafort’s involvement in the Trump campaign.

Chalupa’s forecast proved prescient, as Manafort reached out to the Trump campaign shortly after, on Feb. 29, 2016, through a mutual acquaintance, Thomas J. Barrack Jr. According to Manafort, he and Trump hadn’t been in communication for years until the Trump campaign responded to Manafort’s offer. On March 28, 2016, Manafort was hired by the Trump campaign. He was reportedly initially hired to lead the Trump campaign’s delegate effort, but was soon promoted, and on May 19, 2016, Manafort became Trump’s campaign chairman and chief strategist.

Just days prior to Manafort’s hiring, on March 24, 2016, Chalupa spoke with the Ukrainian ambassador to the United States, Valeriy Chaly, and told him of concerns she had regarding Manafort. Reportedly, her concerns were initially rebuffed as Chaly didn’t think Trump had a real chance of winning the presidency.

According to Politico, the day after Manafort’s hiring, Chalupa provided a briefing on “Manafort, Trump and their ties to Russia” to the DNC’s communications staff. Notably, “with the DNC’s encouragement,” Chalupa asked the Ukrainian Embassy staff to attempt to arrange an interview with Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko and have him discuss Manafort’s ties to former Ukrainian President Yanukovych. The Ukrainian Embassy reportedly declined the request but, according to Chalupa, did begin working with reporters who were researching Trump.

Andrii Telizhenko, who worked in the Ukrainian Embassy under one of Chaly’s top aides, Oksana Shulyar, has repeatedly stated that Chalupa was working closely with the Ukrainian Embassy to obtain information on Trump. In an interview with the Gateway Pundit, Telizhenko said he met Chalupa in the spring of 2016 at the Ukrainian Embassy, where Chalupa told him she was “a DNC operative working for the DNC” and the “Clinton campaign.” Telizhenko continued, noting that Chalupa said she was “collecting any dirt or background information on Manafort, presidential candidate Trump or any other campaign official from the Trump campaign” and was looking for “connections to Russia or the FSB or Russian mob, or Ukrainian mob, etc.” According to Telizhenko, Chalupa said the information would “be used for committee hearings in Congress under a congresswoman.”[3] Telizhenko didn’t disclose the identity of the congresswoman, noting, “I don’t want to mention her name on record.”

In January 2017, Telizhenko told Politico that Chalupa said, “If we can get enough information on Paul [Manafort] or Trump’s involvement with Russia, she can get a hearing in Congress by September.”

In a recent tweet, Telizhenko summed the situation succinctly, noting

“The Clinton campaign had a Democratic operative working with Ukraine’s embassy in Washington to research Trump’s Russia ties, as well as a Ukrainian lawmaker feeding information to Fusion GPS.”

The “Democratic operative” refers to Chalupa, while the “Ukrainian lawmaker” refers to Leshchenko.

Andrea Chalupa

According to journalist and DNC activist Andrea Chalupa on her Facebook page “After Chalupa sent the email to Miranda (which mentions that she had invited this reporter to a meeting with Ukrainian journalists in Washington), it triggered high-level concerns within the DNC, given the sensitive nature of her work. “That’s when we knew it was the Russians,” said a Democratic Party source who has been directly involved in the internal probe into the hacked emails. In order to stem the damage, the source said, “we told her to stop her research.”” July 25, 2016

If she was that close to the investigation Crowdstrike did how credible is she? Her sister Alexandra was named one of 16 people that shaped the election by Yahoo news. The DNC hacking investigation done by Crowdstrike concluded hacking was done by Russian actors based on the work done by Alexandra Chalupa? That is the conclusion of her sister Andrea Chalupa and obviously enough for Crowdstrike to make the Russian government connection.

Alexandra Chalupa- According to the Ukrainian Weekly,[4]

… “The effort, known as Digital Miadan, gained momentum following the initial Twitter storms. Leading the effort were: Lara Chelak, Andrea Chalupa, Alexandra Chalupa, Constatin Kostenko and others.” The Digital Maidan was also how they raised money for the coup. This was how the Ukrainian emigres bought the bullets that were used on Euromaidan. Ukraine’s chubby nazi, Dima Yarosh stated openly he was taking money from the Ukrainian emigres during Euromaidan and Pravy Sektor still fundraises openly in North America. The “Sniper Massacre” on the Maidan in Ukraine by Dr. Ivan Katchanovski, University of Ottowa shows clearly detailed evidence how the massacre happened. It has Pravy Sektor confessions that show who created the “heavenly hundred. Their admitted involvement as leaders of Digital Maidan by both Chalupas is a clear violation of the Neutrality Act and has up to a 25 year prison sentence attached to it because it ended in a coup.

Andrea Chalupa-2014, in a Huff Post article Sept. 1 2016, Andrea Chalupa described Sviatoslav Yurash as one of Ukraine’s important “dreamers.” He is a young activist that founded Euromaidan Press. Beyond the gushing glow what she doesn’t say is who he actually is. Sviatoslav Yurash was Dmitri Yarosh’s spokesman just after Maidan. He is a hardcore Ukrainian nationalist and was rewarded with the Deputy Director position for the UWC (Ukrainian World Congress) in Kiev . In January, 2014 when he showed up at the Maidan protests he was 17 years old. He became the foreign language media representative for Vitali Klitschko, Arseni Yatsenyuk, and Oleh Tyahnybok. All press enquiries went through Yurash. To meet Dimitri Yurash you had to go through Sviatoslav Yurash as a Macleans reporter found out.

At 18 years old, Sviatoslav Yurash became the spokesman for Ministry of Defense of Ukraine under Andrei Paruby. He was Dimitri Yarosh’s spokesman and can be seen either behind Yarosh on videos at press conferences or speaking ahead of him to reporters. From January 2014 onward, to speak to Dimitri Yarosh, you set up an appointment with Yurash.

Andrea Chalupa has worked with Yurash’s Euromaidan Press which is associated with Informnapalm.org and supplies the state level hackers for Ukraine.

Alperovitch’s relationship with Andrea Chalupa’s efforts and Ukrainian intelligence groups is where things really heat up. Noted above she works with Euromaidanpress.com and Informnapalm.org which is the outlet for Ukrainian state-sponsored hackers.

Alperovitch and Fancy Bear tweet each other.

When you look at Dimitri Alperovitch’s twitter relationships, you have to ask why the CEO of a $150 million company like Crowdstrike follows Ukrainian InformNapalm and its hackers individually. There is a mutual relationship. When you add up his work for the OUNb, Ukraine, support for Ukraine’s Intelligence, and to the hackers it needs to be investigated to see if Ukraine is conspiring against the US government. Crowdstrike is also following their hack of a Russian government official after the DNC hack. It closely resembles the same method used with the DNC because it was an email hack.

Crowdstrike’s product line includes Falcon Host, Falcon Intelligence, Falcon Overwatch and Falcon DNS. Is it possible the hackers in Falcons Flame are another service Crowdstrike offers?

In an interview with Euromaidanpress these hackers say they have no need for the CIA.[5] They consider the CIA amateurish. They also say they are not part of the Ukrainian military Cyberalliance is a quasi-organization with the participation of several groups – RUH8, Trinity, Falcon Flames, Cyberhunta. There are structures affiliated to the hackers – the Myrotvorets site, Informnapalm analytical agency.”

Although this profile says Virginia, tweets are from the Sofia, Bulgaria time zone and he writes in Russian. Another curiosity considering the Fancy Bear source code is in Russian. This image shows Crowdstrike in their network. Crowdstrike is part of Ukrainian nationalist hacker network. In the image it shows a network diagram of Crowdstrike following the Surkov leaks. The network communication goes through a secondary source.

Although OSINT Academy sounds fairly innocuous, it’s the official twitter account for Ukraine’s Ministry of Information head Dimitri Zolotukin. It is also Ukrainian Intelligence. The Ministry of Information started the Peacekeeper or Myrotvorets website that geolocates journalists and other people for assassination. If you disagree with OUNb politics, you could be on the list.

Should someone tell Dimitri Alperovitch that Gerashchenko, who is now in charge of Peacekeeper recently threatened president-elect Donald Trump that he would put him on his “Peacemaker” site as a target? The same has been done with Silvio Berscaloni in the past.

Trying not to be obvious, the Head of Ukraine’s Information Ministry (UA Intelligence) tweeted something interesting that ties Alperovitch and Crowdstrike to the Ukrainian Intelligence hackers and the Information Ministry even tighter. This single tweet on a network chart shows that out of all the Ukrainian Ministry of Information Minister’s following, he only wanted the 3 hacking groups associated with both him and Alperovitch to get the tweet. Alperovitch’s story was received and not retweeted or shared. If this was just Alperovitch’s victory, it was a victory for Ukraine. It would be shared heavily. If it was a victory for the hacking squad, it would be smart to keep it to themselves and not draw unwanted attention.

These same hackers are associated with Alexandra, Andrea, and Irene Chalupa through the portals and organizations they work with through their OUNb. The hackers are funded and directed by or through the same OUNb channels that Alperovitch is working for and with to promote the story of Russian hacking.

When you look at the image for the hacking group in the euromaidanpress article, one of the hackers identifies themselves as one of Dimitri Yarosh’s Pravy Sektor members by the Pravy Sektor sweatshirt they have on. Noted above, Pravy Sektor admitted to killing the people at the Maidan protest and sparked the coup.

Going further with the linked Euromaidanpress article the hackers say “Let’s understand that Ukrainian hackers and Russian hackers once constituted a single very powerful group. Ukrainian hackers have a rather high level of work. So the help of the USA… I don’t know, why would we need it? We have all the talent and special means for this. And I don’t think that the USA or any NATO country would make such sharp movements in international politics.”

From the Observer.com,

“Andrea Chalupa—the sister of DNC research staffer Alexandra Chalupa—claimed on social media, without any evidence, that despite Clinton conceding the election to Trump, the voting results need to be audited to because Clinton couldn’t have lost—it must have been Russia. Chalupa hysterically tweeted to every politician on Twitter to audit the vote because of Russia and claimed the TV show The Americans, about two KGB spies living in America, is real.”

Irene Chalupa

Irene Chalupa- Another involved Chalupa we need to cover to do the story justice is Irene Chalupa. From her bio– Irena Chalupa is a nonresident fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center. She is also a senior correspondent at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), where she has worked for more than twenty years. Irene Chalupa previously served as an editor for the Atlantic Council, where she covered Ukraine and Eastern Europe. Irena Chalupa is also the news anchor for Ukraine’s propaganda channel org. She is also a Ukrainian emigre leader.

Alexandra Chalupa timeline

Special Counsel Robert Mueller colluding with Manafort’s boss, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. Yanukovych is considered a Putin stooge. The Podesta Brothers and Obama White House Counsel Greg Craig worked for Yanukovych as well. Manafort was investigated by Mueller for work he did while managing Sen. John McCain‘s 2008 presidential campaign.

See also: Ukrainian collusion timeline and Obamagate timeline

2016

  • 25 March. Ukrainian-American employee of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Alexandra Chalupa meets with top Ukrainian officials at Ukrainian Embassy in Washington D.C. to “expose ties between Trump, top campaign aide Paul Manafort and Russia,” according to Politico. Chalupa previously worked for the Clinton administration. Ukrainian embassy proceeds to work “directly with reporters researching Trump, Manafort and Russia to point them in the right directions,” according to an embassy official (though other officials later deny meddling in election-related activities.)
  • 28 March. Manafort joins Trump Campaign as campaign convention manager.
  • 31 March. Alexandra Chalupa briefs DNC staff on alleged Russia ties to Paul Manafort and Trump. With “DNC’s encouragement,” Chalupa asks Ukrainian embassy to arrange meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to discuss Manafort’s lobbying for Ukraine’s former president Viktor Yanukovych. The embassy declines to arrange meeting but becomes “helpful” in trading info and leads. Ukrainian embassy officials and Democratic operative Chalupa “coordinat[e] an investigation with the Hillary team” into Paul Manafort, according to a source in Politico. This effort reportedly includes working with U.S. media.
  • Spring. Christopher Steele was already on the FBI payroll. Michael Isikoff published a story on Yahoo News about Paul Manafort’s business dealings with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. Chalupa met with top officials in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in an effort to expose ties between Trump, Manafort, and Russia.
  • 6-10 April. Alexandra Chalupa and office of Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), co-chair of Congressional Ukrainian Caucus, discuss possible congressional investigation or hearing on Paul Manafort-Russia “by September.” Chalupa begins working with investigative reporter Michael Isikoff, according to WikiLeaks and her later account.[8]
  • 28 April. Alexandra Chalupa is invited to discuss her research about Paul Manafort with 68 investigative journalists from Ukraine at Library of Congress for Open World Leadership Center, a U.S. congressional agency. Chalupa invites investigative reporter Michael Isikoff to “connect(s) him to the Ukrainians.” After the event, reporter Isikoff accompanies Chalupa to Ukrainian embassy reception.
  • 3 May. Alexandra Chalupa informed DNC communications director Luis Miranda that she had “been working with” Michael Isikoff on stories involving Paul Manafort. Chalupa hinted of “a big Trump component…that will hit in next few weeks.”[11]
  • Late June. Justice Dept. seeks FISA warrant to eavesdrop on Michael T. Flynn, Paul Manafort, Carter Page and George Papadopoulos (earlier reports listed Donald Trump, Carter Page, Paul Manafort and Boris Epshteyn). FISA court denies request.[12] Ordinary procedures call for the Justice Department to ask a FISA Court for a warrant. It is improbable that Attorney General Loretta Lynch acted on her own against a presidential nominee of another party without consulting President Obama.[13]
  • FBI agent Peter Strzok has direct contact with Christopher Steele and receives preliminary draft of the Steele dossier.[14] According to Robby Mook, the partial dossier information was also given to the DNC and Clinton campaign.
  • DCLeaks website begins publishing Democratic National Committee emails.
  • The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) signs evidence-sharing agreement with FBI and will later publicly release the Black Ledger File implicating Paul Manafort in allegedly improper payments.
  • July. Ukraine minister of internal affairs Arsen Avakov attacks Trump and Trump campaign adviser Paul Manafort on Twitter and Facebook, calling Trump “an even bigger danger to the US than terrorism.” Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk writes on Facebook that Trump has “challenged the very values of the free world.”
  • 4 July. Franklin Foer writes in Slate, an article enitled Putin’s Puppet, which appears to come from Christopher Steele and the Steele dossier. Foer’s piece argues the Trump campaign was overly Russia-friendly. Foer discusses Trump’s team, including campaign convention manager Paul Manafort, who worked with former Ukrainian president Victor Yanukovich, and Carter Page.[15]
  • Late July. Alexandra Chalupa leaves the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to work full-time on her research into Manafort, Trump and Russia; and provides off-the-record guidance to “a lot of journalists.”
  • 18 July. RNC Convention platform completed. It reads,

Repressive at home and reckless abroad, their policies imperil the nations which regained their self-determination upon the collapse of the Soviet Union. We will meet the return of Russian belligerence with the same resolve that led to the collapse of the Soviet Union. We will not accept any territorial change in Eastern Europe imposed by force, in Ukraine or elsewhere, and will use all appropriate measures to bring to justice the practitioners of aggression and assassination.
We support maintaining and, if warranted, increasing sanctions, together with our allies, against Russia unless and until Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are fully restored. We also support providing appropriate assistance to the armed forces of Ukraine and greater coordination with NATO defense planning.

  • Mainstream media reports fake news, based on Clinton’s Steele dossier, that Donald Trump “gutted” the RNC platform on support for an independent Ukraine.
  • Michael Isikoff of Yahoo News interviews Mike Flynn live:

Isikoff: You flew over to Moscow to participate in the 10th anniversary—a celebration of RT—Russian television, a propaganda arm of the Russian government. And you sat next to Vladimir Putin at a celebratory dinner. Why did you attend that event?
Flynn: Because I wanted to tell Russia to get Iran the hell out of the four proxy wars that they’re involved in in the Middle East in order for us to settle the situation down … my intent for speaking at that event—and they allowed me to do it—was to talk about Russia’s influence over Iran and to essentially tell Russia that they have got to get Iran out of the situations they are involved in in the region … Iran has got to back out of many of the things they’re doing.[16]

Isikoff ignored Flynn’s entire response and continued his line of questioning:

Isikoff: Were you paid for that event?

Following the Isikoff interview, the matter was pursued further by Washington Post reporter Dana Priest, who published a combined an-person and telephone interview with Flynn in an August 15, 2016.
  • 21 July. Anne Applebaum of The Washington Post writes a “Trump presidency could destabilize Europe.” The issue, she explained, was Trump’s positive attitude toward Putin. “The extent of the Trump-Russia business connection has already been laid out, by Franklin Foer at Slate,” wrote Applebaum. She named Carter Page and his “long-standing connections to Russian companies.” Applebaum repeats the kenard that the “Trump’s campaign team helped alter the Republican party platform to remove support for Ukraine” from the Republican National Committee’s platform. Maybe, she hints, that was because of Trump aide Manafort’s ties to Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovich. The Manafort-Yanukovich relationship is an important part of the Steele dossier. So is the claim that in exchange for Russia releasing the DNC emails, “the TRUMP team had agreed to sideline Russian intervention in Ukraine as a campaign issue.” For Applebaum, it was hard to understand why Trump would express skepticism about the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, except to appease Putin. She referred to a recent interview in which Trump “cast doubt on the fundamental basis of transatlantic stability, NATO’s Article 5 guarantee: If Russia invades, he said, he’d have to think first before defending U.S. allies.”[17] The talking points come directly from Hillary Clinton opposition research, FusionGPS and the Steele dossier.
  • Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic publishes an article entitled, It’s Official: Hillary Clinton is Running Against Vladimir Putin using the same opposition research material from the Steele dossier paid for by Hillary Clinton: “The Republican nominee for president, Donald J. Trump, has chosen this week to unmask himself as a de facto agent of Russian President Vladimir Putin.” Trump’s admiration for Putin and other “equivocating, mercenary statements are unprecedented in the history of Republican foreign policymaking.” However, insofar as Trump’s fundamental aim was to find some common ground with Putin, it’s a goal that has been a 25-year U.S. policy constant across party lines. Starting with George W.H. Bush, every American commander-in-chief since the end of the Cold War sought to “reset” relations with Russia. But Trump, according to Goldberg, was different. “Trump’s understanding of America’s role in the world aligns with Russia’s geostrategic interests.” Goldberg alleged “watered down” the RNC’s platform on Ukraine and “questioned whether the U.S., under his leadership, would keep its [NATO] commitments,” including Article 5. Thus, Goldberg concluded: “Donald Trump, should he be elected president, would bring an end to the postwar international order.”[18]
  • 30 July. Bruce OhrNellie Ohr, Christopher Steele have breakfast at the Washington Mayflower Hotel. Also present at the breakfast meeting was a fourth individual, described by Ohr as “an associate of Mr. Steele’s, another gentleman, younger fellow. I didn’t catch his name.”
  • Steele relayed information from his dossier and claimed that “a former head of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, the SVR, had stated to someone … that they had Donald Trump over barrel.”[19]
  • Steele also referenced Oleg Deripaska’s business dealings with Paul Manafort, and foreign policy adviser Carter Page’s meetings in Moscow.
  • “Paul Hauser, who was an attorney working for Oleg Deripaska, had information about Paul Manafort, that Paul Manafort had entered into some kind of business deal with Oleg Deripaska, had stolen a large amount of money from Oleg Deripaska, and that Paul Hauser was trying to gather information that would show that, you know, or give more detail about what Paul Manafort had done with respect to Deripaska.” The money relates to a failed Ukrainian cable TV project Deripaska invested money with Manafort in.
  • 31 July. Peter Strzok formally begins Crossfire Hurricane counterintelligence investigation into Trump.
  • First week of August. The Crossfire Hurricane investigation team, in conjunction with a number of agents at the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA) under US Attorney Dana Boente, reported to Brennan’s Working Group,[20] including the CIA. During this time, they investigated the four main targets of Crossfire Hurricane, Papadopoulos, Carter Page, Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort and they also investigated Roger Stone as part of their expanded WikiLeaks investigation.
  • As part of the secrecy surrounding the Working Group and Crossfire Hurricane, the Crossfire Hurricane team was provided their own source of funding, and they worked in a secure area, titled the “war room”, within FBI Headquarters, which required special clearance to enter.[21]
  • The same week, Susan Rice, Avril Haines and Lisa Monaco convened meetings in the White House Situation Room, which would later be referred to as “Deputies Meetings”. These meetings were initially attended by Brennan, Clapper, Comey and Lynch. As time passed Vice President Joe Biden joined the Deputies Meetings.[22]
  • As an aspect, or an offshoot, of one of these meetings, Susan Rice informed both Michael Daniel and Celeste Wallander (who would later gain access to the Steele dossier) to cease their planning of retaliation against Russia for their cyber attacks on companies and political campaigns and to stand down.
  • Comey also met with Obama in the Oval Office for a one-on-one meeting.[23]
  • 14 August. Deripaska’s revenge: New York Times publishes Secret Ledger in Ukraine Lists Cash for Donald Trump’s Campaign Chief” two weeks after Bruce Ohr’s meeting with Steele. The article states: “Mr. Deripaska would later say he invested $18.9 million in Pericles [Manafort’s company] in 2008 to complete the acquisition of Black Sea Cable. But the planned purchase—including the question of who ended up with the Black Sea assets—has since become the subject of a dispute between Mr. Deripaska and Mr. Manafort.”[24]
  • 15 August. John Brennan briefs Harry Reid on Christopher Steele and Spygate material. Reid asked Brennan if he could include the information they discussed on Russia in a letter to Comey to ask for investigation of Trump.[25]
  • Bruce Ohr talks directly with Strzok. Within a month of Bruce Ohr passing along Steele’s dirt, the FBI scheduled a follow-up meeting with Steele. The path was laid for the Steele dossier to support a FISA warrant to surveil the Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
  • Peter Strzok texts Lisa Page:

“I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy [McCabe]’s office that there’s no way he gets elected — but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40…”[26]

  • Dana Priest of WaPo publishes follow up on Isikoff’s July 18 interview with Flynn:

Priest: Tell me about the RT [state-run Russian Television] relationship?
Flynn: I was asked by my speaker’s bureau, LAI [Leading Authorities, Inc.]. I do public speaking. It was in Russia. It was a paid speaking opportunity. I get paid so much, the speaker’s bureau got paid so much, based on our contract. The gig was to do an interview with [RT correspondent] Sophie Shevardnadze. It was an interview in front of the forum, probably 200 people in the audience. My purpose there was I was asked to talk about radical Islam in the Middle East. They asked me to talk about what was going on in the situation unfolding in the Middle East.
Priest: Have you appeared on RT regularly?
Flynn: I appear on Al Jazeera, Sky News Arabia, RT. I don’t get paid a dime. I have no media contracts. … [I am interviewed] on CNN, Fox …
Priest: Why would you go on RT, they’re state-run?
Flynn: Well, what’s CNN?

  • 19 August. Ukrainian parliament member Sergii Leshchenko holds news conference to draw attention to Paul Manafort and Trump’s “pro-Russia” ties.
  • Manafort resigns.
  • 22 August. Christopher Steele finishes another installment of the dossier. The memo details payments to Manafort from former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.
  • Bruce Ohr meets with Glenn Simpson. “I don’t know exactly what Chris Steele was thinking, of course, but I knew that Chris Steele was working for Glenn Simpson, and that Glenn might have additional information that Chris either didn’t have or was not authorized to present, give me, or whatever.”
  • Ohr also testified that Simpson mentioned Sergei MillianMichael Cohen, Carter Page, and Paul Manafort during their meeting. Carter Page and Manafort had been previously mentioned by Steele during the July 30, 2016, breakfast meeting.
  • Bruce Ohr admits he knew Simpson and his wife were working for Hillary Clinton and the DNC at this point.[27]
  • Simpson later lied under oath to Congress claiming he did not collude with the DOJ until after the election.[28]
  • 28 August. Serhiy Leshchenko, a member of the Ukrainian parliament, tells the Financial Times of London that “a Trump presidency would change the pro-Ukrainian agenda in American foreign policy.” Leshchenko gave the Black Ledger file of the Ukrainian Party of Regions to Alexandra Chalupa and Glenn Simpson; Chalupa gave it to Mike Isiskoff and Simpson gave it to Nellie Ohr. When Isikoff published allegations about Paul Manafort from the files, Manafort resigned the next day. Nellie Ohr and Christopher Steele used some of the Black Ledger file in the Steele dossier.[29]
  • Late August. White House National Security Advisor Susan Rice orders U.S. cyber-security team warning of Russian election meddling to stand down and “knock it off.”[30][31]
  • September. The Obama DOJ’s illegal FISA warrant on Carter Page was built on an echo chamber of Hillary Clinton’s opposition research among journalists, law enforcement and the intelligence community – all reinforcing each other with the manufactured allegations of the Steele dossier. Michael Isikoff’s September 23, 2016 Yahoo News article, provided by Christopher Steele, was used to corroborate the Obama DOJ’s evidence to the FISA court, which likewise was provided by Christopher Steele.
  • Isikoff met with Steele and Simpson at a DC hotel in a meeting arranged by Simpson.

Vladimir Putin with Oleg Deripaska. Deripaska helped frame Manafort over a personal grievance; Andrew McCabe was Deripaska’s longtime FBI handler.

  • According to Adam Waldman‘s account, Oleg Deripaska was approached by three FBI agents in New York; at least one agent (McCabe) had worked with Deripaska on the aborted effort to rescue Robert Levinson. According to David Ignatius of WaPo:

“We think Russia is colluding with the Trump campaign, and we think Manafort is the key guy,” one of the agents told Deripaska, according to the knowledgeable source. The oligarch responded, “I hate Manafort, and I’m suing him.”[32]

John Solomon of The Hill reported

“Deripaska laughed but realized, despite the joviality, that they were serious,” said his agent Adam Waldman. “So he told them in his informed opinion the idea they were proposing was false. ‘You are trying to create something out of nothing,’ he told them.”[33]

  • 2 September. Lisa Page wrote about preparing talking points for Dir. James Comey:

    Lisa Page – “potus wants to know everything we’re doing.[34]

    The text raises questions about Obama’s involvement in an ongoing FBI investigation.[35]

  • 23 September. Yahoo News and Michael Isikoff.[36] Michael Isikoff of Yahoo News publishes an article based on the information Steele personally leaked to Isikoff and several other media outlets at the direction of FusionGPS. The information focuses on Carter Page’s July 2016 trip to Moscow. Perkins Coie hosted the journalists’ meeting with Steele where the matter was discussed.
  • Isikoff’s article would later be used by the FBI in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) spy warrant application to spy on Carter Page, as if it were corroborating information despite the FBI knowing Steele was the source.
  • Steele is later fired from the FBI as an unreliable for leaking to media and violating agency rules.
  • According to the Isikoff article, Congress was briefed on the contents of the Steele dossier by the FBI.[37]
  • Following the publication of Isikoff’s article, Hillary for America released a statement on the same day touting Isikoff’s “bombshell report” with the full article attached.
  • Steele testified that he “briefed” The New York TimesThe Washington PostYahoo NewsThe New Yorker, and CNN at the end of September 2016.
  • Steele would engage in a second round of media contact in mid-October 2016, meeting again with The New York TimesWashington Post, and Yahoo News. Steele testified that all these meetings were “conducted verbally in person.”[38]
  • Politico publishes a lengthy article, “Who Is Carter Page? The Mystery of Trump’s Man in Moscow,” by Julia Ioffe. This article appears to highlight FusionGPS’s media campaign:

    Yahoo News was used by the Obama DOJ to hoax the FISA court with supposedly independent corroboration; the same paid FBI source was the Yahoo News source. Additionally, the source was paid by the DNC and Clinton campaign. The information was false and invented. The FISA warrant granted authority to spy on the entire Trump campaign in 50 states, the Trump Transition, and the first 10 months of the Trump Administration, violating the civil rights and intruding into the lives all Trump appointees.

“As I started looking into Page, I began getting calls from two separate ‘corporate investigators’ digging into what they claim are all kinds of shady connections Page has to all kinds of shady Russians. One is working on behalf of various unnamed Democratic donors; the other won’t say who turned him on to Page’s scent. Both claimed to me that the FBI was investigating Page for allegedly meeting with Igor Sechin and Sergei Ivanov, who was until recently Putin’s chief of staff—both of whom are on the sanctions list—when Page was in Moscow in July for that speech.”[39]

Ioffe noted that “seemingly everyone I talked to had also talked to the Washington Post, and then there were these corporate investigators who drew a dark and complex web of Page’s connections.” Her article also mentioned rumors regarding Alfa Bank:

“In the interest of due diligence, I also tried to run down the rumors being handed me by the corporate investigators: that Russia’s Alfa Bank paid for the trip as a favor to the Kremlin; that Page met with Sechin and Ivanov in Moscow; that he is now being investigated by the FBI for those meetings because Sechin and Ivanov were both sanctioned for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”

  • 26 September. Carter Page resigns from Trump campaign.
  • End of September. Simpson and Steele meet with reporters, including New York TimesWashington Post, Yahoo News, the New Yorker and CNN or ABC. One meeting is at Perkins Coie office of Democratic National Committee general counsel Marc Elias.[40] Elias is secretly the front man paying FusionGPS on behalf of Hillary Clinton and the DNC.
  • Mid October. Steele again briefs reporters about Trump political opposition research. The reporters are from the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Yahoo News. Steele also visits the State Department.[41]
  • 21 October. Carter Page FISA warrant. DOJ and FBI sought and receive a FISA probable cause order (not under Title VII) authorizing electronic surveillance of Carter Page from the FISA court. The warrant application was signed by Sally Yates and James Comey. The FISA order was ultimately used by Brennan’s Working Group, as the information gathered gave them multiple investigative leads into the Trump campaign.[42]
  • The bulk of the application consists of allegations against Carter Page that were disclosed to the FBI by Christopher Steele and outlined in the Steele dossier. The application contains no additional corroboration other than a Sept 23, 2016 Yahoo News article the Obama DOJ/FBI represents to the court as supposed “independent corroboration” which was peddled to Yahoo News by Christopher Steele’s himself.
  • 30 October. Steele fired by the FBI for unauthorized disclosure to the media of his relationship with the FBI to David Corn of a Mother Jones magazine.[43][44] The FBI was well aware of Steele’s previous contacts with media – the FBI used Steele’s leaks to Isikoff’s Yahoo News article to hoax the FISA court nine days earlier.
  • Steele could have been terminated earlier for his previous undisclosed contacts with Isikoff of Yahoo News and other media outlets in September 2016 – before the Carter Page application was submitted to the FISA court in October 2016 – but Steele improperly concealed and lied to the FBI about earlier contacts. DOJ official Bruce Ohr continued to pass along allegations from Steele to the FBI after the FBI suspended its formal relationship with Steele, and demonstrates that Bruce Ohr funneled allegations from FusionGPS and Steele to the FBI.
  • 8 Election Day.
  • 9 November. Alexandra Chalupa posted a message to Facebook about work done in conjunction between the United States Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security and an Anonymous-based organisation known as “The Protectors” based in Washington, DC.

“Homeland Security/DOJ teamed up with a group that is part of Anonymous based in Washington, D.C. called ‘The Protectors’. This group saw a lot of activity during Election Day from the Russians and believe that the voting results projected don’t match the internal and public polls because the voting results were manufactured in favor of Trump in heavily Republican counties in key states, and voting results may have been described for Clinton in key Democratic countries via malware that was placed by the Russians when they hacked the election systems of more than half our states.” [45]

  • 10 November. Andrea Chalupa, sister of Alexandra Chalupa, then tweeted: “All election day Anonymous hackers working w/DOJ updated my sister: they were at war w/RU hackers in our systems”.[46]
  • 21 November. Bruce Ohr recruited as conduit from Steele to Strzok – in violation of FBI rules. Bruce Ohr notes state that Ohr met with Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. The notes read, “no prosecution yet, pushing ahead on M case,” in reference to Paul Manafort.” Ohr’s notes indicate that the FBI “may go back to Chris [Steele]” just 20 days after firing Steele for violating bureau rules.[47] Ohr is introduced to Joe Pientka, who became Ohr’s FBI handler. Pientka was also present with Strzok during the Jan. 24, 2017, interview of then national security adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.
  • December. Alexandera Chalupa met with convicted bomber Brett Kimberlin and Israeli Yoni Ariel in Washington in December 2016. Kimberlin earned the nickname “Speedway Bomber” by setting a string of bombs in Speedway, Indiana in 1978. Kimberlin served 17 years in prison for the bombing spree. He gained more notoriety in prison after he concocted a story about having once sold marijuana to then-Vice President Dan Quayle. The story was propagated by Cody Shearer, a Clinton operative. Kimberlin now works on various voters’ rights initiatives, including in Ukraine.[48]

2017

  • 3 January. George Eliason, Washingtonsblog: Why Crowdstrike’s Russian Hacking Story Fell Apart- Say Hello to Fancy Bear.[49]
  • How close is Dimitri Alperovitch to DNC officials? Close enough professionally he should have stepped down from an investigation that had the chance of throwing a presidential election in a new direction. According to Esquire.com, Alperovitch has vetted speeches for Hillary Clinton about cyber security issues in the past. Because of his work on the Sony hack, President Barrack Obama personally called and said the measures taken were directly because of his work.
  • Alperovitch’s relationships with the Chalupas, radical groups, think tanks, Ukrainian propagandists, and Ukrainian state supported hackers [show a conflict of interest]. When it all adds up and you see it together, we have found a Russian that tried hard to influence the outcome of the US presidential election in 2016.
  • The Chalupas are not Democrat or Republican. They are OUNb. The OUNb worked hard to start a war between the USA and Russia for the last 50 years. According to the Ukrainian Weekly in a rare open statement of their existence in 2011, “Other statements were issued in the Ukrainian language by the leadership of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (B) and the International Conference in Support of Ukraine. The OUN (Bandera wing) called for”… What is OUNb Bandera? They follow the same political policy and platform that was developed in the 1930’s by Stepan Bandera. When these people go to a Holocaust memorial they are celebrating both the dead and the OUNb SS that killed.[50] There is no getting around this fact. The OUNb have no concept of democratic values and want an authoritarian fascism.
  • According to Robert Parry’s article[51] At the forefront of people that would have taken senior positions in a Clinton administration and especially in foreign policy are the Atlantic Council. Their main goal is still a major confrontation with nuclear-armed Russia.
  • The Atlantic Council is the think tank associated and supported by the CEEC (Central and Eastern European Coalition). The CEEC has only one goal which is war with Russia. Their question to candidates looking for their support in the election was “Are you willing to go to war with Russia?” Hillary Clinton has received their unqualified support throughout the campaign.
  • What does any of this have to do with Dimitri Alperovitch and Crowdstrike? Since the Atlantic Council would have taken senior cabinet and policy positions, his own fellowship status at the Atlantic Council and relationship with Irene Chalupa creates a definite conflict of interest for Crowdstrike’s investigation. Trump’s campaign was gaining ground and Clinton needed a boost. Had she won, would he have been in charge of the CIA, NSA, or Homeland Security?
  • When you put someone that has so much to gain in charge of an investigation that could change an election, that is a conflict of interest. If the think tank is linked heavily to groups that want war with Russia like the Atlantic Council and the CEEC, it opens up criminal conspiracy.
  • If the person in charge of the investigation is a fellow at the think tank that wants a major conflict with Russia it is a definite conflict of interest. Both the Atlantic Council and clients stood to gain Cabinet and Policy positions based on how the result of his work affects the election. It clouds the results of the investigation. In Dmitri Alperovitch’s case, he found the perpetrator before he was positive there was a crime.
  • What sharp movements in international politics have been made lately? Let me spell it out for the 17 US Intelligence Agencies so there is no confusion. These state sponsored, Russian language hackers in Eastern European time zones have shown with the Surkov hack they have the tools and experience to hack states that are looking out for it. They are also laughing at US intel efforts.
  • The hackers also made it clear that they will do anything to serve Ukraine. Starting a war between Russia and the USA is the one way they could serve Ukraine best, and hurt Russia worst. Given those facts, if the DNC hack was according to the criteria given by Alperovitch, both he and these hackers need to be investigated.
  • According to the Esquire interview “Alperovitch was deeply frustrated: He thought the government should tell the world what it knew. There is, of course, an element of the personal in his battle cry. “A lot of people who are born here don’t appreciate the freedoms we have, the opportunities we have, because they’ve never had it any other way,” he told me. “I have.”
  • While I agree patriotism is a great thing, confusing it with this kind of nationalism is not. Alperovitch seems to think by serving OUNb Ukraine’s interests and delivering a conflict with Russia that is against American interests, he’s a patriot. He isn’t serving US interests. He’s definitely a Ukrainian patriot. Maybe he should move to Ukraine.
  • The evidence presented deserves investigation because it looks like the case for conflict of interest is the least Dimitri Alperovitch should look forward to. If these hackers are the real Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear, they really did make sharp movements in international politics. By pawning it off on Russia, they made a worldwide embarrassment of an outgoing President of the United States and made the President Elect the suspect of rumor.
  • Quite possibly now the former UK Ambassador Craig Murry’s admission of being the involved party to “leaks” should be looked at.

“Now both Julian Assange and I have stated definitively the leak does not come from Russia. Do we credibly have access? Yes, very obviously. Very, very few people can be said to definitely have access to the source of the leak. The people saying it is not Russia are those who do have access. After access, you consider truthfulness. Do Julian Assange and I have a reputation for truthfulness? Well in 10 years not one of the tens of thousands of documents WikiLeaks has released has had its authenticity successfully challenged. As for me, I have a reputation for inconvenient truth telling.”

Further reading

References…

https://www.conservapedia.com/Alexandra_Chalupa

Story 2: American People Not Interested In Single Party Impeachment Behind Closed Doors of Star Chamber Inquiry — Those Who Voted For Trump in 2016 Will Again Vote For Trump Again in 2020 — Elections and Ideas Have Consequences — Big Fail of Big Lie Media and Lying Lunatic Leftist Losers — Videos

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Nunes compares Trump impeachment inquiry to ‘chaotic circus’

Volker interview on whistleblower weakens impeachment push

Over 100 House Republicans back bill to censure Adam Schiff

MAJORITY OF AMERICAN PUBLIC STANDS WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP OVER IMPEACHMENT

Dems Rely on Phony Impeachment Polling

A Commentary By Brian C. Joondeph

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Despite the embarrassing spectacle of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s congressional testimony where he finally learned about the report he supposedly created and wrote, Democrats are doubling down on stupid.

They are ignoring the first law of holes, that when you are deep in one, the smart play is to stop digging. The hole they continue to dig is the one denying the reality of the 2016 presidential election, that Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton fair and square.

It was not the result Democrats and their media comrades wanted or expected and now they seek to overturn the will of the American people in selecting a president. So what if Hillary Clinton won the popular vote? Bill Clinton was elected in 1992 with only 43 percent of the popular vote, far from a majority, but no one considered him an illegitimate president for that reason.

Democrats have been trying for close to three years to overturn the 2016 election. From Stormy and Avenatti, to Rapinoe and Omarosa, all have tried and failed. Mueller was supposed to deliver the smoking gun to congressional Democrats but instead brought only Mueller’s bewilderment and confusion, with seemingly everything relevant to the Trump Russia collusion hoax being “out of his purview”.

All the Dems have left is the I-word. No, not idiocy or incompetence, but impeachment. Mueller couldn’t find any real crimes, such as conspiracy or obstruction, despite two years of one of the most exhaustive investigations in history, conducted by partisan Democrats who wanted nothing better than to see Trump frog-marched out of the White House.

Democrats are left only with the political remedy for “high crimes and misdemeanors” which they so far have been unable to articulate. As impeachment is a political remedy, Democrats had better hope that politics is on their side.

Nothing says minority status better than governing against the will of the people, which the Democrats are doing. Do Americans want impeachment? If the polls say yes, that’s all the Democrats and media need to plow ahead. Congress will happily ignore its real job, including fixing immigration, healthcare, infrastructure, a crushing national debt and so on, if it means more political grandstanding, fundraising and the possibility of a Democrat president in 2020.

Democrats are spurred on by a new Fox News poll with this Breitbart headline, “47 percent of Americans back Trump impeachment.” Not quite a majority, but enough for the media to begin breathlessly panting in anticipation. Beyond the misleading headline, one can read the first sentence in the Breitbart article for a reality check, “Support for impeaching President Donald Trump has fallen slightly.”

Ironically Politico provides a more sobering view with their headline, “No impeachment bump after Mueller’s testimony.” They note, “A plurality of voters are still opposed to beginning proceedings that could result in Trump’s removal from office.”

So where is the truth? With any poll, one needs to dig far beyond the headline. The Fox News poll wasn’t conducted by Sean Hannity or Tucker Carlson. Instead Fox commissioned the poll to two polling companies, in this case Beacon Research and Shaw and Company.

Polls are as good as their samples. Take a survey about Trump impeachment in Boulder or Berkeley, and the result will be nearly unanimous that Trump belongs at Supermax prison next door to its newest guest, El Chapo.

This Fox News poll surveyed registered, not likely, voters, already skewing the sample. Given a 58 percent turnout in the last presidential election, almost half of those surveyed in this poll may be watching Netflix on Election Day rather than voting.

A more reliable sample is likely voters, a group that Rasmussen Reports samples in its polls. This explains why Rasmussen was the most accurate pollster in the 2016 presidential election.

Political affiliation of those polled also skews the results. In the Fox News poll, those surveyed were 46 percent Democrat and only 40 percent Republican, a six-point Democrat oversampling.

Looking specifically at impeachment and removal from office, 42% said yes, while 50% said no, an eight-point difference in favor of no. Add in the sampling bias of six percent, and this difference regarding impeachment and removal may be 14 points against, far different than the Breitbart headline implied.

Interestingly, when asked if Trump should be impeached but not removed from office, only nine percent favor this approach, while 77% believe he should not be impeached at all. This is quite a disconnect suggesting that those surveyed may not understand the constitutional process for impeachment and conviction.

How many low information voters believe that if Trump is impeached, Hillary Clinton automatically becomes president?

Other tidbits from the survey are that Democrat primary voters favor Joe Biden at 33%, compared to Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren at 15 and 12 percent respectively.

Those polled were against decriminalizing persons entering the United States illegally by a 57-34 margin and were against providing health insurance to illegals by a 60-32 margin. Don’t tell the Democrat/Marxist primary candidates that they are on the wrong side of these issues in a big way.

Let House Judiciary Committee Chairman Gerald Nadler and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff run with impeachment. They believe they have the wind at their backs. After all, The Atlantic has declared, “Impeach Donald Trump.”

Lunatics on Twitter like Bette Midler and Meathead Rob Reiner are all in for impeachment. But saner voices speak of caution. NBC writes, “Support for impeachment falls as 2020 heats up.” Even in the House, when push came to shove and there was an actual vote for impeachment, as recently proposed by perpetually angry Texas Rep. Al Green, the proposal failed miserably 332 to 95.

Schiff and Nadler can yack all they want on CNN or MSNBC about impeachment, but that’s as far as it will likely go. If they push forward based on nonsensical polls, it will end in the same way as the 2016 presidential election where most of the polls were dead wrong. As they keep chasing and failing to catch Trump, in the style of the Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote, Trump’s popularity and support grows.

As Democrat dig ever deeper into the impeachment hole, they may soon be unable to climb out.

Brian C. Joondeph, MD, is a Denver based physician and freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in American Thinker, Daily Caller, and other publications. Follow him on Facebook,  LinkedInTwitter, and QuodVerum

Views expressed in this column are those of the author, not those of Rasmussen Reports. Comments about this content should be directed to the author or syndicate.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/political_commentary/commentary_by_brian_joondeph/dems_rely_on_phony_impeachment_polling

Star Chamber

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Engraving of the Star Chamber, published in “Old and new London” in 1873, taken from a drawing made in 1836

A document of 1504 showing King Henry VII sitting in the Star Chamber and receiving William Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury, Richard Foxe, Bishop of Winchester, and clerics associated with Westminster Abbey and St Paul’s Cathedral, as well as the Mayor of London.

The Star Chamber (LatinCamera stellata) was an English court which sat at the royal Palace of Westminster, from the late 15th century to the mid-17th century (c. 1641), and was composed of Privy Counsellors and common-law judges, to supplement the judicial activities of the common-law and equity courts in civil and criminal matters. The Star Chamber was originally established to ensure the fair enforcement of laws against socially and politically prominent people so powerful that ordinary courts would probably hesitate to convict them of their crimes. However, it became synonymous with social and political oppression through the arbitrary use and abuse of the power it wielded.

In modern usage, legal or administrative bodies with strict, arbitrary rulings and secretive proceedings are sometimes called, metaphorically or poetically, “star chambers”. This is a pejorative term and intended to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the proceedings. “Star Chamber” can also, rarely, be used in its original meaning, for instance when a politician uses parliamentary privilege to examine and then exculpate or condemn a powerful organisation or person. Due to the constitutional separation of powers and the ceasing of the Star Chamber, the main powers of select committees are to enhance the public debate—politicians are deemed to no longer wield powers in the criminal law, which belongs to the courts.[a]

Origin of the name

Starry vault of the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua, Italy, frescoed by Giotto

The first reference to the “star chamber”[b] is in 1398, as the Sterred chambre; the more common form of the name appears in 1422 as le Sterne-chamere. Both forms recur throughout the fifteenth century, with Sterred Chambre last attested as appearing in the Supremacy of the Crown Act 1534 (establishing the English monarch as head of the Church of England). The origin of the name has usually been explained as first recorded by John Stow, writing in his Survey of London (1598), who noted “this place is called the Star Chamber, at the first all the roofe thereof was decked with images of starres gilted“.[2][3] Gold stars on a blue background were a common medieval decoration for ceilings in richly decorated rooms: the Star Chamber ceiling itself is still to be seen at Leasowe CastleWirral, and a similar examples are in the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua and elsewhere.

Alternatively, William Blackstone, a notable English jurist writing in 1769, speculated that the name may have derived from the legal word “starr” meaning the contract or obligation to a Jew (from the Hebrew שטר (shtar) meaning ‘document’). This term was in use until 1290, when Edward I had all Jews expelled from England. Blackstone thought the “Starr Chamber” might originally have been used for the deposition and storage of such contracts.[4] However, the Oxford English Dictionary gives this etymology “no claim to consideration”.[3]

Other etymological speculations mentioned by Blackstone on the use of star include the derivation from Old English steoran (steer) meaning “to govern”; as a court used to punish cozenage (in Latincrimen stellionatus); or that the chamber was full of windows.[4]

History

Under the Plantagenets and Tudors

The Court evolved from meetings of the King’s Council, with its roots going back to the medieval period. Contrary to popular belief, the so-called “Star Chamber Act” of King Henry VII‘s second Parliament (1487) did not actually empower the Star Chamber, but rather created a separate tribunal distinct from the King’s general Council.[5]

Initially well regarded because of its speed and flexibility, Star Chamber was regarded as one of the most just and efficient courts of the Tudor era. Sir Edward Coke once described Star Chamber as “The most honourable court (Our Parliament excepted) that is in the Christian world. Both in respect of the judges in the court and its honourable proceeding.”[6]

The Star Chamber was made up of Privy Counsellors, as well as common-law judges, and it supplemented the activities of the common-law and equity courts in both civil and criminal matters. In a sense, the court was a court of appeal, a supervisory body, overseeing the operation of the lower courts, although it could hear cases by direct appeal as well. The court was set up to ensure the fair enforcement of laws against the English upper class, those so powerful that ordinary courts could never convict them of their crimes.

Another function of the Court of Star Chamber was to act like a court of equity, which could impose punishment for actions which were deemed to be morally reprehensible but were not in violation of the letter of the law. This gave the Star Chamber great flexibility, as it could punish defendants for any action which the court felt should be unlawful, even when in fact it was technically lawful.

However, this meant that the justice meted out by the Star Chamber could be very arbitrary and subjective, and it enabled the court to be used later on in its history as an instrument of oppression rather than for the purpose of justice for which it was intended. Many crimes which are now commonly prosecuted, such as attemptconspiracycriminal libel, and perjury, were originally developed by the Court of Star Chamber, along with its more common role of dealing with riots and sedition.

The cases decided in those sessions enabled both the very powerful and those without power to seek redress. Thus King Henry VII used the power of Star Chamber to break the power of the landed gentry which had been such a cause of problems in the Wars of the Roses. Yet, when local courts were often clogged or mismanaged, the Court of Star Chamber also became a site of remittance for the common people against the excesses of the nobility.

In the reign of King Henry VIII, the court was under the leadership of Cardinal Wolsey (the Archbishop of York and Lord Chancellor) and Thomas Cranmer (the Archbishop of Canterbury) (1515–1529). From this time forward, the Court of Star Chamber became a political weapon for bringing actions against opponents to the policies of King Henry VIII, his Ministers and his Parliament.

Although it was initially a court of appeal, King Henry, Wolsey and Cranmer encouraged plaintiffs to bring their cases directly to the Star Chamber, bypassing the lower courts entirely.

The Court was used extensively to control Wales, after the Laws in Wales Acts 1535–1542 (sometimes referred to as the “Acts of Union”). The Tudor-era gentry in Wales turned to the Chamber to evict Welsh landowners and protect themselves, and in general protect the English advantages of the Laws in Wales Acts.

One of the weapons of the Star Chamber was the ex officio oath where, because of their positions, individuals were forced to swear to answer truthfully all questions that might be asked. Faced by hostile questioning, this then gave them the “cruel trilemma” of having to incriminate themselves, face charges of perjury if they gave unsatisfactory answers to their accusers, or be held in contempt of court if they gave no answer.

Under the Stuarts

The power of the Court of Star Chamber grew considerably under the House of Stuart, and by the time of King Charles I, it had become synonymous with misuse and abuse of power by the King and his circle. King James I and his son Charles used the court to examine cases of sedition, which meant that the court could be used to suppress opposition to royal policies. It came to be used to try nobles too powerful to be brought to trial in the lower court.

King Charles I used the Court of Star Chamber as Parliamentary substitute during the eleven years of Personal Rule, when he ruled without a Parliament. King Charles made extensive use of the Court of Star Chamber to prosecute dissenters, including the Puritans who fled to New England. This was also one of the causes of the English Civil War.

On 17 October 1632, the Court of Star Chamber banned all “news books” because of complaints from Spanish and Austrian diplomats that coverage of the Thirty Years’ War in England was unfair.[7] As a result, newsbooks pertaining to this matter were often printed in Amsterdam and then smuggled into the country, until control of the press collapsed with the developing ideological conflict of 1640–41.[8]

The Star Chamber became notorious for judgments favourable to the king. Archbishop Laud had William Prynne branded on both cheeks through its agency in 1637 for seditious libel.[9]

In 1571 Elizabeth I had set up an equivalent Court in Ireland, the Court of Castle Chamber, to deal with cases of riot and offences against public order. Although it was initially popular with private litigants, under the Stuarts it developed the same reputation for harsh and arbitrary proceedings as its parent Court, and during the political confusion of the 1640s it simply disappeared.[10]

In the early 1900s, Edgar Lee Masters commented:

In the Star Chamber the council could inflict any punishment short of death, and frequently sentenced objects of its wrath to the pillory, to whipping and to the cutting off of ears. … With each embarrassment to arbitrary power the Star Chamber became emboldened to undertake further usurpation. … The Star Chamber finally summoned juries before it for verdicts disagreeable to the government, and fined and imprisoned them. It spread terrorism among those who were called to do constitutional acts. It imposed ruinous fines. It became the chief defence of Charles against assaults upon those usurpations which cost him his life.

Abolition and aftermath

In 1641, the Long Parliament, led by John Pym and inflamed by the severe treatment of John Lilburne, as well as that of other religious dissenters such as William PrynneAlexander LeightonJohn Bastwick and Henry Burton, abolished the Star Chamber with an Act of Parliament: the Habeas Corpus Act 1640.

The Chamber itself stood until demolished in 1806, when its materials were salvaged. The door now hangs in the nearby Westminster School and the historic Star Chamber ceiling, with its bright gold stars, was brought to Leasowe Castle on the Wirral Peninsula in Merseyside from the Court of Westminster, along with four tapestries depicting the four seasons.

Recent history

In the late 20th century, the expression was revived in reference to ways of resolving internal high-level questions within the government, usually relating to budget appropriations. The press and some civil servants under the premiership of Margaret Thatcher (1979–90) revived the term for private ministerial meetings at which disputes between the Treasury and high-spending departments were resolved.[11]

The term was again revived by the popular press to describe a panel set up by the Labour party’s National Executive Committee to review expenses claims by Labour MPs in May 2009.[12] In 2010, the press employed the term for a committee established by the Cameron ministry to plan spending cuts to reduce public debt.[13]

Influence on the U.S. Constitution

The historical abuses of the Star Chamber are considered a primary motivating force behind the protections against compelled self-incrimination embodied in the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.[14] The meaning of “compelled testimony” under the Fifth Amendment – i.e., the conditions under which a defendant is allowed to “plead the Fifth” to avoid self-incrimination – is thus often interpreted via reference to the inquisitorial methods of the Star Chamber.[14]

As the U.S. Supreme Court described it, “the Star Chamber has, for centuries, symbolized disregard of basic individual rights. The Star Chamber not merely allowed, but required, defendants to have counsel. The defendant’s answer to an indictment was not accepted unless it was signed by counsel. When counsel refused to sign the answer, for whatever reason, the defendant was considered to have confessed.”[15]

Notes

  1. ^ “The Ceann Comhairle intervened and said the Dáil could not be used as a “star chamber” warning that people’s reputations were involved and if the deputy had information he should go to the gardaí.”[1]
  2. ^ Or, rather, the first reference in the OED. Blackstone mentions a reference in a document of 41 Edw. III – 1367 – but does not quote it

References…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Chamber

Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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When Donald Trump became president in 2017, a SCIF was set up at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, which he refers to as his Winter White House. Trump (at the head of the table with various cabinet members, advisers, and staffers) is seen here monitoring the Syrian cruise missile attack from the Mar-a-Lago SCIF.

Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF; pronounced “skiff”), in British and United States military, national security/national defense and intelligence parlance, is an enclosed area within a building that is used to process Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) types of classified information.

SCIFs can be either permanent or temporary and can be set up in official government buildings (such as the Situation Room in the White House), onboard ships, in private residences of officials, or in hotel rooms and other places of necessity for officials when traveling.[1] Portable SCIFs can also be quickly set up when needed during emergency situations.[2]

Access

Access to SCIFs is normally limited to those individuals with appropriate security clearances.[3] Non-cleared personnel in SCIFs must be under the constant oversight of cleared personnel and all classified information and material removed from view in order to prevent unauthorized access.[4] As part of this process, non-cleared personnel are also typically required to surrender all recording, photographic and other electronic media devices. All of the activity and conversation inside is presumed restricted from public disclosure.[1][5]

Construction

Some entire buildings are SCIFs where all but the front foyer is secure. A SCIF can also be located in an air, ground or maritime vehicle, or can be established on a temporary basis at a specific site.[1] The physical construction, access control, and alarming of the facility has been defined by various directives, including Director of Central Intelligence Directives (DCIDs) 1/21 and 6/9, and most recently (2011) by Intelligence Community Directive (ICD) 705, signed by the Director of National Intelligence. ICD 705 is a three-page capstone document that implements Intelligence Community Standard (ICS) 705-1, ICS 705-2 and the Technical Specifications for Construction and Management of Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities or “Tech Specs.” The latest version of the Tech Specs was published in 2017 (Version 1.4). https://www.dni.gov/files/NCSC/documents/Regulations/Technical-Specifications-SCIF-Construction.pdf

Computers operating within such a facility must conform to rules established by ICD 503. Computers and telecommunication equipment within must conform to TEMPEST emanations specification as directed by a Certified TEMPEST Technical Authority (CTTA).

Officials documented to have had a SCIF set up in their private residences include:

See also

References

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sensitive_Compartmented_Information_Facility

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The Pronk Pops Show 1174, November 14, 2018, Story 1: Florida Recount Concludes That Ron Desantis Is The Next Governor of Florida — Governor Scott Won Senator Seat in Machine Recount and Must Wait for Final Human Count — Video — Story 2: The Fake Stolen Election in Georgia Governor Race — Republican Brian Kemp Wins and  Democrat Stacey Abrams Loses — Lying Lunatic Leftist Loser Stacey Abrams Refuses To Concede — Voter Suppression Charged — Results Will Be Certified Friday — Videos Story 3: President Trump Will Not Fire Mueller As Mueller Wraps Up Investigation of Russian Interference in U.S. Elections — Absolutely No Evidence of Trump Collusion With Russians and Therefore No Indictments — Complete Hoax Fabricated By Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy — Appoint Second Special Counsel Now To Investigate and Prosecute Plotters — Videos

Posted on November 17, 2018. Filed under: 2018 United States Elections, Addiction, Addiction, American History, Barack H. Obama, Bill Clinton, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Cartoons, Central Intelligence Agency, Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Deep State, Defense Spending, Disasters, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Education, Elections, Employment, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Government, First Amendment, Foreign Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Gangs, Government, Government Dependency, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Impeachment, Independence, James Comey, Killing, Language, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Mental Illness, Military Spending, National Interest, National Security Agency, Networking, News, Obama, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Privacy, Progressives, Public Corruption, Public Relations, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Robert S. Mueller III, Rule of Law, Russia, Scandals, Second Amendment, Security, Senate, Spying, Spying on American People, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Taxes, Technology, Terror, Terrorism, Trump Surveillance/Spying, United Kingdom, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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Story 1: Florida Recount Concludes That Ron Desantis Is The Next Governor of Florida — Governor Scott Won Senator Seat in Machine Recount and Must Wait for Final Human Count — Video

Special Report w Bret Baier 11/15/18 Fox News November 15, 2018

Story 2: The Fake Stolen Election in Georgia Governor Race — Republican Brian Kemp Wins and  Democrat Stacey Abrams Loses — Lying Lunatic Leftist Loser Stacey Abrams Refuses To Concede — Voter Suppression Charged — Results Will Be Certified Friday — Videos

Tucker Carlson Tonight 11/15/18 Breaking Fox News November 15, 2018

Latest on the disputed election count for Georgia governor

Kemp says he won Georgia governor race

Stacey Abrams says she recognizes Brian Kemp will be Georgia’s next governor

Abrams campaign responds to the legal drama unfolding post-election

Stacey Abrams refuses to concede in Georgia Gubernatorial defeat

GEORGIA RACE OVER: Democrat Stacey Abrams Ends Challenge For Governor Race

Abrams ends run for governor against Kemp, but won’t concede

Kemp pledges to put ‘divisive politics’ behind him

Stacey Abrams ended her run for Georgia governor on Friday, but the Democrat said she would not concede the contest to Republican Brian Kemp as state officials prepared to certify the election.

Saying the law “allows no further viable remedy” to extend her quest to be the nation’s first black female governor, Abrams announced a new voting rights group that will file “major” litigation against the state over electoral issues.

And she laced her speech with bruising critiques of Kemp, a former secretary of state who she said was “deliberate and intentional in his actions” to suppress the vote.

“I will not concede,” she added, “because the erosion of our democracy is not right.”

Kemp, meanwhile, thanked Abrams for her “passion, hard word and commitment to public service.”

“The election is over and hardworking Georgians are ready to move forward,” said Kemp. “We can no longer dwell on the divisive politics of the past but must focus on Georgia’s bright and promising future.”

The Democrat’s campaign was considering a long-shot legal challenge under a law that allows losing candidates to contest the election in the case of misconduct, fraud or “irregularities.”

She would have faced a tremendous legal burden to prove her case, and even some Democrats warned that prolonging the court battle would jeopardize two down-ticket runoffs set for next month.

The secretary of state could certify the election as soon as 5 p.m. Friday and cement Kemp’s victory in the tightest race for Georgia governor since 1966.

The latest tally showed Abrams is roughly 55,000 votes behind Kemp — and in need of more than 17,000 votes to force a Dec. 4 runoff. Georgia law requires a runoff if no candidate gets a majority of the vote, which is only a possibility because a third-party contender netted about 1 percent.

Hundreds of previously uncounted votes could still be added Friday before the election is certified by Secretary of State Robyn Crittenden.

Abrams’ campaign has long tried to make the case that Kemp used his role as secretary of state to suppress the vote.

In her fiery speech, Abrams cited long lines at voting sites, closed polling stations and the cancellation of hundreds of thousands of voter registrations.

But to have a chance in court, Abrams would have had to prove there were enough Georgians blocked from voting to close the gap. Her campaign apparently could not meet that requirement.

Before Abrams ended the campaign, Republicans blasted the suggestion that she might contest the election in court. In one of the most biting barbs, Kemp’s spokesman called for Abrams to end her “ridiculous temper tantrum and concede.”

Unchanged dynamics

Kemp’s lead had dwindled since Election Day as absentee and provisional ballots trickled in. But as more counties completed their vote tallies, Abrams and her allies claimed there were thousands of outstanding ballots that never materialized.

Her campaign also went to court to force local officials to accept some previously rejected ballots.

She secured one court order that required elections officials to review as many as 27,000 provisional ballots, though it didn’t require those votes to be accepted.

Another ruling required the state to count absentee ballots with incorrect birthdate data, but rejected an effort to accept provisional ballots cast in the wrong counties.

That order, by U.S. District Judge Steve Jones, set off a scramble by county officials to revisit rejected ballots. But it left Kemp’s lead virtually unchanged, even as the biggest trove of those votes in Gwinnett County was added to the total.

Those final ballots in Gwinnett also likely cemented the contest for Georgia’s 7th District. Republican U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall led Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux by about 400 votes, though her campaign on Friday requested a recount.

Some pushback

Abrams has long hinted at more litigation challenging “irregularities” at polling sites, and targeted what she claimed was Kemp’s abuse of the secretary of state’s office. But she determined that new legal action wouldn’t prevent Kemp’s victory.

Some Abrams’ allies had raised alarms that the prospect of extending her legal fight would shift attention away from a pair of candidates who are already in a runoff: John Barrow for secretary of state and Lindy Miller for Public Service Commission.

“I totally concur with the notion that every vote should be counted,” said Michael Thurmond, the DeKalb chief executive and a former Democratic state labor commissioner. “And going forward, the most effective way to do that is to focus on electing John Barrow as the next secretary of state.”

And former U.S. Rep. Buddy Darden said it’s “pretty evident” the race will be certified for Kemp and that Abrams should begin focusing on a 2020 run against U.S. Sen. David Perdue.

“Never stop. Keep using this energy,” he said. “Keep using these new voters.”

Kemp, meanwhile, has tried to cast himself as the eventual winner.

Several of his aides were at the Capitol this week to meet with state legislators and scope out executive offices. And Kemp’s campaign has repeatedly criticized Abrams for refusing to concede, saying she has no mathematical chance at forcing a runoff.

On Friday, Kemp struck a far more conciliatory tone.

“I humbly ask for citizens of our great state to stand with me in the days ahead,” he said.

“Together, we will realize the opportunities and tackle the challenges to come. We will be a state that puts hardworking Georgians – no matter their zip code or political preference – first.”

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Matthew Whitaker (attorney)

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Matthew Whitaker
Matthew G. Whitaker official photo.jpg
Acting United States Attorney General
Assumed office
November 7, 2018
President Donald Trump
Deputy Rod Rosenstein
Preceded by Jeff Sessions
Chief of Staff to the United States Attorney General
In office
September 22, 2017 – November 7, 2018
Attorney General Jeff Sessions
Preceded by Jody Hunt
Succeeded by Gary Barnett
United States Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa
In office
June 15, 2004 – November 25, 2009
President George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Preceded by Stephen Patrick O’Meara
Succeeded by Nicholas A. Klinefeldt
Personal details
Born Matthew George Whitaker
October 29, 1969 (age 49)
Des MoinesIowa, U.S.
Political party Republican
Education University of Iowa (BAJDMBA)

Matthew George Whitaker (born October 29, 1969) is an American lawyer and politician serving as Acting United States Attorney General since November 7, 2018. He was appointed by President Donald Trump on November 7, 2018, after Jeff Sessions resigned at Trump’s request.[1] Whitaker served as a U.S. Attorney during the Bush Administration and served as Chief of Staff to Sessions from September 2017 to November 2018.[2]

In 2002, Whitaker was the candidate of the Republican Party for Treasurer of Iowa. From 2004 to 2009 he served as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa. Whitaker ran in the 2014 Iowa Republican primary for the United States Senate. He later wrote opinion pieces and appeared on talk-radio shows and cable news as the director of the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, a conservative advocacy group.

The legality of Whitaker’s appointment as Acting U.S. Attorney General was challenged by the State of Maryland.[3][4] His appointment prompted a number of legal scholars, commentators, and politicians to question its legality and constitutionality, noting that his selection circumvented Senate confirmation.[5] Some also called for Whitaker to recuse himself from overseeing the Special Counsel investigation led by Robert Mueller because of his public criticisms of the probe and his ties to Trump, and to Sam Clovis, a witness in the investigation.[6][7][8]

After Whitaker took office, reports surfaced of his prior involvement with World Patent Marketing, which had been fined $26 million and shut down by federal regulators in 2017 for deceiving consumers.[9][10]

Early life and education

Whitaker was born in Des Moines, Iowa, on October 29, 1969. His mother was a schoolteacher and his father a car salesman. Whitaker graduated from Ankeny High School and attended the University of Iowa, from which he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communications, a Master of Business Administration, and a law degree in 1995.[11] While in college he wanted to be in the film industry.[12]

During his undergraduate years at Iowa, Whitaker played tight end for the University of Iowa Hawkeyes football team, appearing in Iowa’s Rose Bowl game in 1991.[13]

Career

After graduating from law school, Whitaker worked for a number of regional law firms including Briggs & Morgan (Minneapolis) and Finley Alt Smith (Des Moines). He was also corporate counsel for a national grocery company, SuperValu, and small businessman owning interests in a trailer manufacturing company, a daycare, and a concrete supply company.[14] Whitaker ran as a Republican for Treasurer of Iowa in 2002, losing to incumbent Democrat Michael Fitzgerald by 55% to 43%.[15]

In 2003, Whitaker founded “Buy The Yard Concrete,” based in Urbandale, Iowa which did projects as far away as Las Vegas. In 2005, Whitaker was named as a defendant to a collections lawsuit in Nevada for $12,000 in unpaid invoices for supplies and equipment rentals related to a concrete project in Las Vegas. The lawsuit was settled out of court.[16]

Whitaker’s U.S. Attorney portrait

United States Attorney

On June 15, 2004, Whitaker was appointed U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa by President George W. Bush. The appointment was at the recommendation of Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, in spite of Whitaker’s minimal relevant legal experience.[17]

From 2005 to 2007, Whitaker was responsible for the unsuccessful investigation and prosecution of Iowa State Sen. Matt McCoy, a gay, liberal Democrat, on charges of attempting to extort $2000.[18] A columnist for the Des Moines Register said that the case “… was based on the word of a man former associates depicted as a drug user, a deadbeat and an abuser of women; a man so shady even his Alcoholics Anonymous sponsors called him ‘a pathological liar.'”[19][20] The jury took less than two hours to return a verdict of “not guilty”.[21][22]

Whitaker resigned in November 2009 following the Senate confirmation of his replacement, Nicholas A. Klinefeldt, who was nominated by President Barack Obama.[13][23]

Private practice and political activities

From 2009 to 2017, Whitaker was a managing partner of the small general practice law firm Whitaker Hagenow & Gustoff LLP (now Hagenow & Gustoff LLP) in Des Moines, Iowa.[24]

During the 2012 presidential campaign, Whitaker was Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty‘s co-chairman in Iowa, and then state co-chairman for Texas governor Rick Perry.[25]

Whitaker was a candidate for the Republican nomination in the 2014 United States Senate election in Iowa, a seat being vacated by Democrat Tom Harkin. He came in fourth in the Republican primary in June, with 11,909 votes (7.54%). The nomination was won by Joni Ernst, who went on to win the general election.[26]

After losing the Republican primary, Whitaker chaired the campaign of Sam Clovis, another unsuccessful primary candidate who had been selected, later in June, to run for Iowa State Treasurer.[27] Clovis lost in the November 2014 general election.[28][29][30]

MEM Investment

In 2012, Whitaker and two partners used their company, MEM Investment, to purchase and develop an affordable-housing apartment building in Des Moines.[31] In 2014, the partnership reverted to just Whitaker. By spring of 2016, the company failed to deliver on the contracted renovation, the city terminated the loan agreement, Lincoln Savings Bank declared MEM in default of the $687,000 mortgage, and the property was sold to another developer for completion.[32][33]

World Patent Marketing

In 2014, Whitaker joined the board of World Patent Marketing (WPM) which was a fraudulent invention promotion firm based in Florida that deceived inventors into thinking that the company had successfully commercialized other inventions.[34][35][36] In March 2017, the Federal Trade Commission charged the company with fraudulently deceiving consumers and suppressing complaints through intimidation and the use of gag clauses.[36][37][38] In May 2018, a federal court ordered the company to close and pay a $26 million fine.[39] Many customers suffered significant losses as a result of working with the company[9][40] and when they tried to recoup their fees, the company used Whitaker’s background as a U.S. Attorney to threaten them. In a 2015 email mentioning his background as a former federal prosecutor, Whitaker told a customer that filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau or “smearing” the company online could result in “serious civil and criminal consequences.”[41][42] The owner of Ripoff Report told The Wall Street Journal that Whitaker had called him in 2015 demanding his website take down negative reports about WPM, alleging, “He threatened to ruin my business if I didn’t remove the reports. He [said he] would have the government shut me down under some homeland security law.”[43][44] The company contributed to Whitaker’s 2014 US Senate campaign.[45] Whitaker performed almost $17,000 in compensable work for the company.[46] In 2017 FTC investigators examined whether Whitaker had played any role in making threats of legal action to silence the company’s critics. Whitaker rebuffed an FTC subpoena for records in October 2017, shortly after he had joined the Justice Department.[47]

White House and senior Justice Department officials were surprised to learn of Whitaker’s connection to the company.[48] Through a DOJ spokesperson, Whitaker has denied awareness of the company’s fraud.[9] The court receiver in the case said he has “no reason to believe that [Whitaker] knew of any of the wrongdoing.”[48] As of November 2018, the FBI is still investigating World Patent Marketing.[49]

Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust

From October 2014 to September 2017, Whitaker was the executive director of the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT),[50] and the organization’s only full-time employee in 2015 and 2016.[51] FACT, founded in late 2014, is a conservative nonprofit organization specializing in legal and ethical issues related to politics.[52][53] The group was backed by $1 million in seed money from conservative donors, who Whitaker declined to identify to the media.[54] According to the organization’s first tax return, its funding — $600,000 in 2014 – came from a conservative donor-advised fund called DonorsTrust, a pass-through vehicle that allows donors to remain anonymous.[55]

While Whitaker was the head of FACT, the organization had a special focus on the Hillary Clinton e-mail controversy and perceived favoritism in the business dealings of Clinton.[56] Despite claiming to be nonpartisan, the organization called for ethics investigations into or filed complaints about forty-six different Democratic politicians, officials, and organizations, compared to only a few Republicans.[57] FACT has been described as using “the legal system as a political weapon”[58] and characterized, by a GOP operative, as a “chop shop of fake ethics complaints”.[59] During this time, Whitaker wrote opinion pieces that appeared in USA Today and the Washington Examiner, and appeared regularly on conservative talk-radio shows and cable news.[60]

CNN contributor

Whitaker aspired to become a judge in Iowa, and hoped his media appearances would catch the eye of the Trump administration.[25] For four months, from June to September 2017, he was a CNN contributor.[61] One month prior to joining the Justice Department, Whitaker wrote an opinion column for CNN titled “Mueller’s Investigation of Trump is Going Too Far.”[62] He stated that Mueller’s investigation was a “lynch mob”, that it should be limited, and that it should not probe into Trump’s finances.[63][64]

Legal and policy views

Constitutional issues

Whitaker stated in a question-and-answer session during his 2014 Iowa Senatorial campaign that “the courts are supposed to be the inferior branch.”[65][66] Whitaker was critical of the United States Supreme Court‘s decision in Marbury v. Madison (1803), the decision that allows judicial review of the constitutionality of the acts of the other branches of government, and several other Supreme Court holdings. Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe commented on Whitaker’s views that “the overall picture he presents would have virtually no scholarly support,” and that they would be “‘destabilizing’ to society if he used the power of the attorney general to advance them.”[65]

Whitaker also stated during his 2014 Senate bid that he would not support “secular” judges and that judges should “have a biblical view of justice.” Asked if he meant Levitical or New Testament justice, he replied “I’m a New Testament.”[67] Whitaker’s answer has been interpreted by various individuals and groups, including the Anti-Defamation League, to imply that he would disqualify non-Christian judges, and were condemned as unconstitutional. An ADL spokesperson said, “The notion that non-Christian judges are disqualified from service is patently wrong, and completely inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution, which explicitly bars any religious test for public office.”[68]

Whitaker stated in 2013 he supports the right of states to nullify federal laws.[69] Stephen Vladeck, a University of Texas law professor, stated that Whitaker’s views on nullification are “irreconcilable not only with the structure of the Constitution, but with its text, especially the text of the Supremacy Clause,” and added that “For someone who holds those views to be the nation’s chief law enforcement officer, even temporarily, is more than a little terrifying.”[69]

Criticisms of 2017 Special Counsel investigation

During the months prior to joining the Justice Department as Jeff Sessions’ chief of staff in September 2017, Whitaker made several statements critical of the Mueller investigation, of which he assumed oversight responsibility upon being appointed Acting Attorney General in November 2018. By July 2017, the Trump White House was interviewing Whitaker to join the Trump legal team.[70] During a six-month span in 2017, Whitaker insisted that there was no obstruction of justice or collusion and criticized the initial appointment of the special counsel. He also called the probe “political”[71] and “the left is trying to sow this theory that essentially Russians interfered with the U.S. election, which has been proven false.”[72] He also published an op-ed titled, “Mueller’s Investigation of Trump Is Going Too Far”[73] in which he expressed skepticism about the investigation generally and called the appointment of Mueller “ridiculous.”[72] Through social media, he also promoted an article that referred to the investigation as a “lynch mob.”[63][73][74]

Relationship with Donald Trump

Trump saw Whitaker’s supportive commentaries on CNN in the summer of 2017, and in July White House counsel Don McGahn interviewed Whitaker to join Trump’s legal team as an “attack dog” against Robert Mueller, who was heading the Special Counsel investigation. Trump associates believe Whitaker was later hired to limit the fallout of the investigation, including by reining in any Mueller report and preventing Trump from being subpoenaed.[70] On November 13, Whitaker sought advice from ethics officials at the Department of Justice (DOJ) about whether a recusal from overseeing the Russia investigation was warranted.[75]

In 2017 Whitaker provided private advice to Trump on how the White House might pressure the Justice Department to investigate the president’s adversaries, including appointing a special counsel to investigate the FBI and Hillary Clinton.[76]

Leonard Leo of the Federalist Society recommended Whitaker to McGahn as chief of staff for Sessions, and Whitaker was installed into that role at the direction of the White House. Sessions, it is reported, did not realize for a year that Whitaker wanted to replace him.[77]

By early September 2018 Whitaker was on the short list of President Trump‘s White House staff as the replacement for Don McGahn as the White House Counsel.[78][79]

In September 2018, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly referred to Whitaker as the White House’s “eyes and ears” in the Justice Department, which the president considered himself at war with.[80]

Trump had spoken with Whitaker in September 2018 about potentially assuming Sessions’s role as Attorney General, although it was not clear whether Whitaker would take over on an interim basis or be nominated in a more permanent capacity.[81] At that time, The New York Times described Whitaker as a Trump loyalist who had frequently visited the Oval Office and as having “an easy chemistry” with Trump.[80] Whitaker was referenced by White House staff after a New York Times article disclosed in September that Rod Rosenstein had discussed secretly taping his conversations with the president and talked about using the Twenty-fifth Amendment to remove Trump from office.[73]

Trump repeatedly stated on November 9, “I don’t know Matt Whitaker,” contradicting remarks a month prior on Fox & Friends when he said, “I can tell you Matt Whitaker’s a great guy. I mean, I know Matt Whitaker.”[82][83][84] The president met with Whitaker at least ten times and frequently talked to him on the phone, and according to a former and a current administration official, Whitaker advised Trump in private on how to potentially pressure the Justice Department into investigating Trump’s adversaries.[85]

Other policy Issues

Whitaker has ties to the evangelical Christian community, his website previously stated that he is a “Christian who regularly attends church with his family, Matt has built a life on hard work and free enterprise” and he stated in 2014 that “life begins at conception.”[86][87][88]In 2014 he advocated for reducing the influence of the government saying, “I know that the government forcing people to violate their faith must never be tolerated. In the Senate, I will be a steadfast protector of every American’s religious rights.”[89]

He has expressed a desire to get rid of chain immigration and is against “amnesty” for illegal immigrants.[90] Whitaker argued in 2014 that expressing homophobic comments is legitimate expression of religious beliefs that should be protected speech, saying “I just really think this case is a prime example of where religious freedom in our country is under assault and we need to send a strong message.”[91] Whitaker supported repealing the Affordable Care Act in his 2014 Senate campaign.[73]

Department of Justice

Chief of Staff

On September 22, 2017, a Justice Department official announced that Sessions had appointed Whitaker to replace Jody Hunt as his chief of staff.[63][92] George Terwilliger, a former U.S. attorney and deputy attorney general, said in his role as chief of staff, Whitaker would have dealt daily with making “substantive choices about what is important to bring to the AG….”[93]

Acting Attorney General

With the resignation of Sessions on November 7, 2018, Whitaker was appointed to serve as Acting Attorney General under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998.[11][94] The Acting Attorney General directly supervises Robert Mueller‘s Special Counsel investigation, which had previously been supervised by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in his role as Acting Attorney General, due to the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Supervision of the Special Counsel investigation

Soon after Whitaker’s appointment as Acting Attorney General, a “broad and growing array” of legal experts expressed concern.[95] New York University law professor Ryan Goodman and Walter Shaub, former director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, argued for Whitaker to recuse himself from supervising the investigation, citing potential conflicts of interest such as his previous criticism of the Special Counsel investigation and his ties to Sam Clovis who is a witness in the investigation.[7][96][97] NYU law professor Stephen Gillerssaid Whitaker “has no such legal or ethical obligation to step aside” but agrees that “Whitaker should be recused. His repeated expression of hostility to the Mueller investigation makes it impossible for the public to have confidence in his ability to exercise the necessary prosecutorial judgment in supervising Mueller”.[98][99] According to people close to Whitaker, he does not have any plans to recuse.[100]

Democrats poised to assume chairmanships of key House committees in January 2019 warned the Justice Department and other departments to preserve records relating to the Mueller investigation and Sessions’ firing. Republicans Senator Susan Collins, Senator Jeff Flake, and Senator-elect Mitt Romney, also issued statements insisting that Mueller’s investigation must remain free from interference.[101]

Legality and constitutionality of the appointment

Former Attorneys General Michael Mukasey and Alberto Gonzales, who both served in the George W. Bush administration, questioned the legality of the appointment.[102] Lawyers Neal Katyal and George T. Conway III called the appointment “illegal” and “unconstitutional” under the Appointments Clause of the Constitution.[103][104][105] Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano posited that Whitaker is “not legally qualified for the role” as he is neither the Deputy Attorney General nor in a role that required Senate confirmation, and the senate is not in recess currently.[106][107] Lawyers Renato Mariotti and Laurence Tribe have argued that the Vacancies Act would not allow Trump to appoint Whitaker if Sessions was fired and that a court could conclude that Sessions did not resign but was fired.[108] John E. Bies, who served in the Obama Administration as a deputy assistant attorney general, has written that legality and constitutionality of Whitaker’s appointment is an open question and it has not been answered. Bies also points out that it is a difficult argument to make that Sessions was fired instead of resigning since a court would probably not “look past an official’s formal statement that they resigned”.[109]

Law professor John Yoo, who notably argued in favor of expansive executive power as a deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel in the George W. Bush administration, echoed the Katyal and Conway argument, stating that because of the Appointments Clause “it is not only the special-counsel investigation that he cannot supervise. Every action of the Justice Department might fall before challenges to Whitaker’s appointment.”[110] Law professor Stephen Vladeck argued that the U.S. Supreme Courtdecision United States v. Eaton allowed the appointment since it was temporary and that Sessions formally resigned.[95] Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said “I think this will be a very interim AG.”[111]

The US Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel released an internal legal opinion supporting the legality of the appointment. The memo concluded that because the appointment was temporary, no senate confirmation was required. It found that previously in 1866 an assistant attorney general who was not confirmed by the senate was appointed as acting attorney general, and that a non senate confirmed individual served as a principal officer in an acting capacity over 160 times between 1809 and 1860, and more recently at least nine times in the Trump, Obama, and Bush administrations.[112][113][114]

NBC News analyzed the section of the Code of Federal Regulations that prohibits a federal employee from participating in a criminal investigation if he has a personal or political relationship and said it may “arguably apply,” but also noted that “Even if a court could review the application of the recusal regulations to Whitaker in this situation, it might conclude that this personal or political relationship does not warrant [Whitaker’s] disqualification.”[115] Writers at Lawfare also noted Whitaker’s personal and prior political relationship with Sam Clovis, Trump’s campaign co-chairman and chief policy adviser, who has been questioned by Mueller’s investigators and testified before the investigation grand jury.[116][117]

A group of prominent conservative and libertarian lawyers have formed a group called Checks and Balances in the wake of Whitaker appointment.[118] Members include George T. Conway III, Tom Ridge, Peter D. KeislerJonathan H. AdlerOrin S. Kerr, Lori S. Meyer, Paul McNultyPhillip D. BradyJohn B. Bellinger III, Carrie Cordero, Peter Keisler, Marisa C Maleck, Alan Charles Raul and Paul Rosenzweig amongst others.[119][120][121][122] The group was formed to provide a critical legal and conservative voice for when, “he [Trump] attacks the Justice Department and the news media.”[123][124] The group was formed by Conway after he published a letter critical of Matthew Whitaker appointment that argued the illegality of his appointment because of constitutional reasons and specifically mentions the phrase checks and balances, “It defies one of the explicit checks and balances set out in the Constitution, a provision designed to protect us all against the centralization of government power.”[125]

On November 14 The American Constitution Society released a letter signed by over 1,600 attorneys nationwide calling for lawmakers and Justice Department officials to protect the special counsel’s Russia probe in light of Matthew Whitaker’s appointment as acting attorney general.[126][127] The signatories demand that Whitaker recuse himself or “otherwise be removed from overseeing the Mueller investigation as a result of his profound ethical conflicts.”[128]

Legal challenges

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh representing the State of Maryland filed for an injunction against Whitaker’s appointment.[129] Maryland had previously filed a suit against the then Attorney General Jeff Sessions regarding his inability to defend the Affordable Care Act in court as part of a broader hostility of the Obama era act from the Trump administration.[130][131][132] Maryland is expected to test the argument in court that Whitaker was unlawfully named acting attorney general, and thus has no standing in the court or authority to respond to their lawsuit.[3][4] Maryland is also arguing that Whitaker’s appointment violates the Constitution, which requires that principal officers of the United States be appointed “with the Advice and Consent of the Senate.” Whitaker was not serving in a Senate-confirmed position when he was appointed.[3] The state is arguing that the role of acting Attorney General rightfully belongs to the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein.[133]. A judge has set a December 19 hearing.[134]

On November 12 San Francisco’s city attorney questioned the appointment of a new acting attorney general, saying in a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice that his office may take court action if the DOJ does not provide a legal justification for the designation.[135][136]

Lawyers for former agricultural products executive Doug Haning filed a motion on November 13 asking a federal court in St. Louis to rule that Whitaker’s appointment as Acting Attorney General is illegal thereby he has no standing to hear the case.[134] Some lawyers have predicted a flood of similar motions.[134]

Personal life

Whitaker has three children with his wife, Marci, a civil engineer.[137] He is affiliated with Lutheran Evangelicalism.[138][89]

Electoral history

2002 Iowa State Treasurer

General election results[139]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Michael Fitzgerald 534,714 54.77%
Republican Matthew Whitaker 421,574 43.18%
Libertarian Tim Hird 19,687 2.02%
Republican Write-ins 344 0.04%
Total votes 976,319 100.00%

2014 U.S. Senator for Iowa

Republican primary results[140]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Joni Ernst 88,535 56.12%
Republican Sam Clovis 28,418 18.01%
Republican Mark Jacobs 26,523 16.81%
Republican Matthew Whitaker 11,884 7.53%
Republican Scott Schaben 2,233 1.42%
Republican Write-ins 155 0.10%
Total votes 157,748 100.00%

See also

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Whitaker_(attorney)

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The Pronk Pops Show 1014, January 8, 2018, Story 1: Oprah Winfrey Golden Globes Cecil B. DeMille Award Acceptance Speech — Winfrey Running For President? — Videos — Story 2: The Big Lie Media’s and Lying Lunatic Left’s Mantra That President Trump is Mentally Unstable — Nuts — Junk Journalism Progressive Propaganda — Desperate Delusional Democrats — No Evidence of Russian Collusion or Obstruction of Justice — Now Trump is Nuts — Please Keep This Up — Losing All Credibility With American People — Videos — Story 3: The Roaring 2020s with The Unstoppable Trump and Pence Boom — Inflation Less Than 1%, U-3 Unemployment Rate Less Than 3%, Economic Growth Rate Exceeding 5% and Labor Participation Rate Exceeding 67% — Real Tax Reform With Fair Tax Less Replacing All Federal Taxes With A Single Broad-based Consumption Tax With A $1,000 Per Month or $12,000 Per Year Tax Prebate For All American Citizens Age 18 and Older — Democratic Socialist Worse Nightmare — 16 Year Peace and Prosperity Presidencies of Trump and Pence! — Videos 

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Image result for oprey winfrey at golden globes

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Story 1: Oprah Winfrey Golden Globes Cecil B. DeMille Award Acceptance Speech — Winfrey Running For President?

Oprah Winfrey Golden Globes Cecil B. DeMille Award Acceptance Speech

Oprah for president? Golden Globes speech stirs speculation of 2020 run

Mark Steyn Reacts to Oprah’s Speech

Ben Shapiro: Oprah Winfrey is a Fraud

The Truth About Oprah Winfrey

The Truth About Oprah Winfrey’s 2020 Presidential Run

Ben Shapiro on Oprah’s presidential possibilities

MARK LEVIN GOES NUCLEAR!: Oprah’s Golden Globes ‘Lecture’ Was ‘GROTESQUE’

LIMBAUGH: Oprah Winfrey Is NOT A Nationwide Vote-Getter

Ivanka Gives Surprising Response to Oprah’s Golden Globe Speech, Instantly Attacked by Hollywood

Oprah “Open to” Running for the Presidency: She Won’t Get Nominated if She Does

MILO Explains ‘Oprah 2020’

“Could Oprah DEFEAT Trump in 2020??” Ben Shapiro Gives His Take

‘She Is a Hypocrite’ – Ben Shapiro Reacts To Oprah’s Golden Globes Speech

Ben Shapiro – Here Is Why Oprah winfrey Will NOT Win If She Ran For President

Memo to #MichaelWolff: #Trump Laughs at Your Unverified Lies, You Blatherskite and Pathetic Poltroon

Seth Meyers’ Monologue at the 2018 Golden Globes

 

Trump: I would beat Oprah
President Trump speaks during a bipartisan immigration lunch
Photo: Saul Loeb / AFP / Getty Images

Following his bipartisan immigration lunch at the White House, President Trump addressed the hype surrounding a potential presidential run by Oprah Winfrey in 2020, telling reporters he would beat her.

“Oprah will be lots of fun. I did one of her last shows…. I like Oprah. I don’t think she’s going to run.”

Oprah Presidential Talk Renews Questions About Swiss Race Hoax, Harvey Weinstein

In the wake of her speech at Sunday night’s Golden Globes gala,talk has revived of Oprah Winfrey challenging Donald Trump for the presidency in 2020. Also revived are questions about Winfrey accusing a Swiss sales clerk of racism and her relationship with Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced Hollywood mogul accused by dozens of women of everything from harassment to serial rape.

Picking up steam on Twitter is the hashtag #OprahKnew accompanied by photos of an obviously chummy Winfrey nuzzling with and even kissing Weinstein:

Back in late November, Oprah’s name was dragged into the Weinstein scandal when British actress Kadian Noble, who has filed an 11 page complaint against the former mogul, alleged, among other terrible things, that Weinstein got to her through Winfrey and model Naomi Campbell.

“An aspiring actress says Harvey Weinstein used Oprah Winfrey and Naomi Campbell to dupe her into thinking he would help her with her career — only to use her for sex,” Page Six reported.

There is no claim or insinuation that Winfrey was in any way complicit in setting this young woman up for the sexual assault she alleges occurred, but there is also no question that Winfrey is not only very friendly with Weinstein, but that she is a welcome member of his professional circle.

Moreover, Weinstein’s and Winfrey’s names appear together on two films: Lee Daniels’ The Butler (2013) and The Great Debaters (2007). Which, along with the chummy photos, might help to explain why Weinstein felt comfortable reaching out to Winfrey to help with damage control in the early days of the scandal. Oprah’s response was that she was only interested in booking him for an interview.

Overall, when you factor in the above along with the fact that Oprah herself is now a reigning queen of Hollywood, with a career devoted almost entirely to the entertainment business (via her OWN cable network), it would appear fair to say that any denial from Winfrey about her knowledge of Weinstein’s alleged predations are as credible as those coming from fellow-Queen Meryl Streep, which some say are not credible at all.

This is not the first time the billionaire has been dragged into a sexual abuse case. Shortly after Winfrey opened up a school for girls in South Africa in 2007, one of her matrons was charged with sexually molesting several students. The woman was later acquitted, but Winfrey said she was disappointed with the verdict.

Four years later, ABC News reported that a “dead newborn was found at Oprah Winfrey’s school.”

Winfrey also found herself in hot water in 2013 when, without any proof, she appeared to manufacture a racial controversy in order to promote her latest movie, Lee Daniels’s The Butler. Appearing on Entertainment Tonight, Winfrey accused a Swiss shopgirl of racism.

“I say to the woman, ‘Excuse me, may I see that [$38,000 purse] right above your head?’ And she says to me, ‘No, it’s too expensive.’ … She refused to get it,” Winfrey dramatically explained.

But Winfrey refused to back up her story by identifying the store or the “racist” clerk. Eventually, though, the store and the shopgirl were located, and the young woman accused of racism by the most powerful woman in the world, openly declared Winfrey a liar:

I didn’t hurt anyone. I don’t know why someone as great as her must cannibalize me on TV. … If it had all taken place as she claimed, why has she not complained the next day at the wedding of Tina Turner with Trudie Goetz, my boss? She was there also at the Turner wedding as a guest. I don’t understand it. … I spoke to Oprah Winfrey in English. My English is OK but not excellent, unfortunately. … I didn’t know who she was when she came into the store. That wouldn’t have made any difference if I had.

And what was Winfrey’s bizarre response to this hideous “racist” adding insult to injury by declaring her a liar? Outrage? Fury? Nope. Winfrey backed off with a non-apology apologyabout being “sorry” that the incident “got blown up.”

Well, it was Winfrey who blew it up, not only on Entertainment Tonight but on Larry King’s CNN show.

A billionaire mogul falsely accusing an innocent sales clerk of racism is about as grotesque an abuse of power as anyone has ever seen, and that is what many believe happened.

It is no longer 2012, and Winfrey’s fawning media no longer has a monopoly on either truth or information. The era of Barack Obama is over — the elitist media can no longer cover up for a Hillary or Oprah.

If Winfrey is serious about running for president, many questions will dog this powerful billionaire, questions that she appears to have no interest in answering.

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/01/08/oprah-presidential-talk-renews-questions-swiss-race-hoax-harvey-weinstein/

 

 

Story 2: The Big Lie Media’s and Lying Lunatic Left Mantra That President Trump is Mentally Unstable — Nuts — Junk Journalism Progressive Propaganda — Desperate Delusional Democrats — No Evidence of Russian Collusion or Obstruction of Justice — Now Trump is Nuts — Please Keep This Up — Losing All Credibility With American People — Videos —

“It’s Completely Insane!” Ann Coulter REACTS to Trump-Bannon Feud

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Rush Limbaugh: Didn’t everyone know Sloppy Steve Bannon was the leaker? (audio from 01-05-2018)

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Roger Stone: Bannon committed ‘stunning act of betrayal’

Ann Coulter Reacts to Michael Wolff’s Explosive Book

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White House blasts tell-all book that questions Trump’s mental fitness

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Michael Wolff on Bannon statement: ‘This is not true’

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Twenty-fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Twenty-fifth Amendment (Amendment XXV) to the United States Constitution deals with succession to the Presidency and establishes procedures both for filling a vacancy in the office of the Vice President as well as responding to Presidential disabilities. It supersedes the ambiguous wording of Article II, Section 1, Clause 6 of the Constitution, which does not expressly state whether the Vice President becomes the President or Acting President if the President dies, resigns, is removed from office, or is otherwise unable to discharge the powers of the presidency.[1] The Twenty-fifth Amendment was adopted on February 10, 1967.[2]

Text

Section 1. In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.

Section 2. Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.

Section 3. Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.

Section 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.[3]

Background

The Twenty-fifth Amendment in the National Archives
Page 1
Page 2

Article II, Section 1, Clause 6 of the Constitution states:

In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.

That clause was unclear regarding Presidential succession and inability; it did not state who had the power to declare a President incapacitated.[1] Also, it did not provide a mechanism for filling a Vice Presidential vacancy before the next Presidential election. The vagueness of this clause caused difficulties many times before the Twenty-fifth Amendment’s adoption:

  • In 1841, President William Henry Harrison became the first U.S. President to die in office. Representative John Williams had previously suggested that the Vice President should become Acting President upon the death of the President.[4] John Tyler asserted that he had succeeded to the presidency, as opposed to only obtaining its powers and duties. He also declined to acknowledge documents referring to him as “Acting President”. Although he felt his vice presidential oath negated the need for the presidential oath, Tyler was persuaded that being formally sworn-in would clear up any doubts about his right to the office. Having done so, he then moved into the White House and assumed full presidential powers. Tyler’s claim was not formally challenged, and both houses of Congress adopted a resolution confirming that Tyler was the tenth President of the United States, without any qualifiers. The precedent of full succession was thus established.[5] This became known as the “Tyler Precedent”.
  • There had been occasions when a President was incapacitated. For example, following Woodrow Wilson‘s stroke no one officially assumed the Presidential powers and duties, in part because the First LadyEdith Wilson, together with the White House PhysicianCary T. Graysoncovered up President Wilson’s condition.[1][6]
  • The office of Vice President had been vacant sixteen times due to the death or resignation of the Vice President or his succession to the presidency.[1] For example, there was no Vice President for nearly four years after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. During the impeachment of Andrew Johnson there was no Vice President to succeed him. At that time, the Presidential Succession Act of 1792 provided that the President pro tempore of the Senate would succeed Johnson if he was removed from office.[7] Had the impeachment trial of Andrew Johnson resulted in Johnson being removed from office, Senator Benjamin Wade, then the President pro tempore of the Senate, would have become acting president pending a special presidential election.[8]

After having been temporarily incapacitated by several severe health problems, President Dwight D. Eisenhower attempted to clarify procedures through a signed agreement with Vice President Richard Nixon, drafted by Attorney General Herbert Brownell Jr. However, this agreement did not have legal authority.[9] Eisenhower suffered a heart attack in September 1955 and intestinal problems requiring emergency surgery in July 1956. Each time until Eisenhower was able to resume his duties, Nixon presided over Cabinet meetings and, along with Eisenhower aides, kept the executive branch functioning and assured the public that the situation was under control. However, Nixon never made any effort to formally assume the status of Acting President or President.

All of these incidents made it evident that clearer guidelines were needed.[1] There were two proposals for providing those guidelines.

Keating–Kefauver proposal

In 1963, Senator Kenneth Keating of New York proposed a Constitutional amendment which would have enabled Congress to enact legislation providing for how to determine when a President is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office”, rather than, as the Twenty-fifth Amendment does, having the Constitution so provide.[10] This proposal was based upon a recommendation of the American Bar Association in 1960.[11]

The text of the proposal read:[12]

In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the said office shall devolve on the Vice President. In case of the inability of the President to discharge the powers and duties of the said office, the said powers and duties shall devolve on the Vice President, until the inability be removed. The Congress may by law provide for the case of removal, death, resignation or inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what officer shall then be President, or, in case of inability, act as President, and such officer shall be or act as President accordingly, until a President shall be elected or, in case of inability, until the inability shall be earlier removed. The commencement and termination of any inability shall be determined by such method as Congress shall by law provide.

Senators raised concerns that the Congress could either abuse such authority[13] or neglect to enact any such legislation after the adoption of this proposal.[14] Tennessee Senator Estes Kefauver, the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments, a long-time advocate for addressing the disability question, spearheaded the effort until he died of a heart attack on August 10, 1963.[15][16] Senator Keating was defeated in the 1964 election, but Senator Roman Hruska of Nebraska took up Keating’s cause as a new member of the Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments.[9]

Kennedy assassination

The assassination of John F. Kennedy showed the need for a clear way for determining presidential disability in the context of the Cold War.[17] The new President, Lyndon B. Johnson, had once suffered a heart attack[18] and – with the office of Vice President to remain vacant until the next term began on January 20, 1965 – the next two people in the line of succession were the 71-year-old Speaker of the House John McCormack[17][19] and the 86-year-old Senate President pro tempore Carl Hayden.[17][19] Senator Birch Bayh succeeded Kefauver as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments and set about advocating for a detailed amendment dealing with presidential disability.[17]

Bayh–Celler proposal

On January 6, 1965, Senator Birch Bayh proposed S. J. Res. 1 in the Senate and Representative Emanuel Celler (Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee) proposed H. J. Res. 1 in the House of Representatives. Their proposal specified the process by which a President could be declared “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office”, thereby making the Vice President an Acting President, and how the President could regain the powers of his office. Also, their proposal provided a way to fill a vacancy in the office of Vice President before the next presidential election. This was as opposed to the Keating–Kefauver proposal, which neither provided for filling a vacancy in the office of Vice President prior to the next presidential election nor provided a process for determining presidential disability. In 1964, the American Bar Association endorsed the type of proposal which Bayh and Celler advocated.[20] On January 28, 1965, President Johnson endorsed S. J. Res. 1 in a statement to Congress.[9] Their proposal received bipartisan support.[21]

On February 19, the Senate passed the amendment, but the House passed a different version of the amendment on April 13. On April 22, it was returned to the Senate with revisions.[9] There were four areas of disagreement between the House and Senate versions:

  • the Senate official who was to receive any written declaration under the amendment
  • the period of time during which the Vice President and Cabinet must decide whether they disagree with the President’s declaration that he is fit to resume his duties
  • the time before Congress meets to resolve the issue between the President, Vice President, and the Cabinet
  • the time limit for Congress to reach a decision[9]

On July 6, after a conference committee ironed out differences between the versions,[22] the final version of the amendment was passed by both Houses of the Congress and presented to the states for ratification.[23]

Proposal and ratification

The Congress proposed the Twenty-fifth Amendment on July 6, 1965, and the amendment was ratified by the following states:[2]

  1. Nebraska (July 12, 1965)
  2. Wisconsin (July 13, 1965)
  3. Oklahoma (July 16, 1965)
  4. Massachusetts (August 9, 1965)
  5. Pennsylvania (August 18, 1965)
  6. Kentucky (September 15, 1965)
  7. Arizona (September 22, 1965)
  8. Michigan (October 5, 1965)
  9. Indiana (October 20, 1965)
  10. California (October 21, 1965)
  11. Arkansas (November 4, 1965)
  12. New Jersey (November 29, 1965)
  13. Delaware (December 7, 1965)
  14. Utah (January 17, 1966)
  15. West Virginia (January 20, 1966)
  16. Maine (January 24, 1966)
  17. Rhode Island (January 28, 1966)
  18. Colorado (February 3, 1966)
  19. New Mexico (February 3, 1966)
  20. Kansas (February 8, 1966)
  21. Vermont (February 10, 1966)
  22. Alaska (February 18, 1966)
  23. Idaho (March 2, 1966)
  24. Hawaii (March 3, 1966)
  25. Virginia (March 8, 1966)
  26. Mississippi (March 10, 1966)
  27. New York (March 14, 1966)
  28. Maryland (March 23, 1966)
  29. Missouri (March 30, 1966)
  30. New Hampshire (June 13, 1966)
  31. Louisiana (July 5, 1966)
  32. Tennessee (January 12, 1967)
  33. Wyoming (January 25, 1967)
  34. Washington (January 26, 1967)
  35. Iowa (January 26, 1967)
  36. Oregon (February 2, 1967)
  37. Minnesota (February 10, 1967)
  38. Nevada (February 10, 1967)
    Ratification was completed on February 10, 1967. The following states subsequently ratified the amendment:
  39. Connecticut (February 14, 1967)
  40. Montana (February 15, 1967)
  41. South Dakota (March 6, 1967)
  42. Ohio (March 7, 1967)
  43. Alabama (March 14, 1967)
  44. North Carolina (March 22, 1967)
  45. Illinois (March 22, 1967)
  46. Texas (April 25, 1967)
  47. Florida (May 25, 1967)

The following states have not ratified the amendment:

  1. Georgia
  2. North Dakota[24]
  3. South Carolina

Six days after its submission, Nebraska and Wisconsin were the first states to ratify the amendment. On February 10, 1967, Minnesota and Nevada were the 37th and 38th states to ratify, respectively. On February 23, 1967, in a ceremony in the East Room of the White HouseGeneral Services Administrator Lawson Knott certified the amendment’s adoption.

Effect

Section 1: Presidential succession

John Tyler, first to succeed to the office of President. His succession was initially contested and it was unknown whether he should be considered to be president or acting president.

Section 1 codified the “Tyler Precedent” regarding when a President is removed from office, dies, or resigns. In any of these situations, the Vice President immediately becomes President.

Section 2: Vice Presidential vacancy

Prior to the Twenty-fifth Amendment’s adoption, a Vice Presidential vacancy remained until the next vice-presidential term began. The Vice Presidency has been vacant several times due to death, resignation, or succession to the Presidency. Often these vacancies lasted for several years.

Under Section 2, whenever there is a vacancy in the office of Vice President, the President nominates a successor who becomes Vice President if confirmed by a majority vote of both Houses of the Congress.

Section 3: Presidential declaration

Section 3 provides that when the President transmits a written declaration to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, stating that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of the Presidency, and until the President sends another written declaration to the aforementioned officers declaring himself able to resume discharging those powers and duties, the Vice President discharges those powers and duties as Acting President. The Vice President does not become President and the sitting President is not removed from office.

Section 4: Vice Presidential–Cabinet declaration

Section 4 is the only part of the amendment that has never been invoked.[25] It allows the Vice President, together with a “majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide”, to declare the President “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office” by submitting a written declaration to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. As with Section 3, the Vice President would become Acting President, not President, and the sitting President would not be removed from office.

Section 4 is meant to be invoked should the President’s incapacitation prevent him from discharging his duties, but he is unable or unwilling to provide the written declaration called for by Section 3. The President may resume exercising the Presidential duties by sending a written declaration to the President pro tempore and the Speaker of the House.

Should the Vice President and a majority of the Cabinet believe the President is still “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office”, they may within four days of the President’s declaration submit another declaration that the President is incapacitated. If not already in session, the Congress must then assemble within 48 hours. The Congress has 21 days to decide the issue. If within the 21 days two-thirds of each house of Congress vote that the President is incapacitated, the Vice President would “continue” to be Acting President. Should the Congress resolve the issue in favor of the President, or make no decision within the 21 days allotted, then the President would “resume” discharging the powers and duties of his office. The use of the words “continue” and “resume” imply that the Vice President remains Acting President while Congress deliberates.

However, the President may again submit a written declaration of recovery to the President pro tempore and the Speaker of the House. That declaration could be responded to by the Vice President and a majority of the Cabinet in the same way as stated earlier. The specified 21-day Congressional procedure would start again.

Proposed replacing of Cabinet

On April 14, 2017, Representatives Jamie Raskin and Earl Blumenauer introduced the Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity Act.[26] The bill would replace the Cabinet as the body that, together with the Vice President, determines whether Section 4 should be invoked. Under the bill, an eleven-member commission would conduct an examination of the President when directed to do so by a concurrent resolution of the Congress.[27]

According to Blumenauer:

It is hard to imagine a better group to work with the vice president to examine whether the president is able to discharge the duties of the office. When there are questions about the president’s ability to fulfill his or her constitutional responsibilities, it is in the country’s best interest to have a mechanism in place that works effectively.[27]

Invocations

Two women are flanked by two men in suits, standing in a room of the White House.

(L–R): President Richard Nixon, First Lady Pat NixonBetty Ford and Gerald Ford, after President Nixon nominated Gerald Ford to be Vice President
(The White House, October 13, 1973)

The Twenty-fifth Amendment has been invoked six times since its ratification. The first three times were applications of Sections 1 and 2 in the context of scandals surrounding the Nixon Administration. The latter three were applications of Section 3 regarding Presidents undergoing a medical procedure requiring general anesthesia.

Succession to presidency

Nixon’s resignation letter, August 9, 1974.

President Richard Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974, resulting in Vice President Gerald Ford succeeding to the office of President.[28] Gerald Ford is the only person ever to be Vice President, and later President, without being elected to either office.[29]

Filling vice presidential vacancies

1973: Appointment of Gerald Ford as Vice President[edit]

On October 12, 1973, following Vice President Spiro Agnew‘s resignation two days earlier, President Richard Nixon nominated Representative Gerald Ford of Michigan to succeed Agnew as Vice President.

The United States Senate voted 92–3 to confirm Ford on November 27 and, on December 6, the House of Representatives did the same by a vote of 387–35. Ford was sworn in later that day before a joint session of the United States Congress.[30]

1974: Appointment of Nelson Rockefeller as Vice President[edit]

When Gerald Ford became President, the office of Vice President became vacant. On August 20, 1974, after considering Melvin Laird and George H. W. Bush, President Ford nominated former New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller to be the new vice president.

On December 10, 1974, Rockefeller was confirmed 90–7 by the Senate. On December 19, 1974, Rockefeller was confirmed 287–128 by the House and sworn into office later that day in the Senate chamber.[30]

Acting Presidents

1985: George H.W. Bush

On July 12, 1985, President Ronald Reagan underwent a colonoscopy, during which a villous adenoma (a pre-cancerous lesion) was discovered. When told by his physician (Dr. Edward Cattau) that he could undergo surgeryimmediately or in two to three weeks, Reagan elected to have it removed immediately.[31]

That afternoon, Reagan consulted with White House counsel Fred Fielding by telephone, debating whether to invoke the amendment and, if so, whether such a transfer would set an undesirable precedent. Fielding and White House Chief of Staff Donald Regan recommended that Reagan transfer power and two letters doing so were drafted: the first letter specifically invoked Section 3 of the Twenty-fifth Amendment; the second only mentioned that Reagan was mindful of this provision. At 10:32 a.m. on July 13, Reagan signed the second letter and ordered its delivery to the appropriate officers as required under the amendment.[32] Vice President George H. W. Bush was Acting President from 11:28 a.m. until 7:22 p.m., when Reagan transmitted a second letter to resume the powers and duties of the office.

Books such as The President Has Been Shot: Confusion, Disability and the 25th Amendment, by Herbert Abrams, and Reagan’s autobiography, An American Life, argue President Reagan’s intent to transfer power to Vice President Bush was clear. Fielding himself adds:

I personally know he did intend to invoke the amendment, and he conveyed that to all of his staff and it was conveyed to the VP as well as the President of the Senate. He was also very firm in his wish not to create a precedent binding his successor.

2002: Dick Cheney

On June 29, 2002, President George W. Bush underwent a colonoscopy and chose to invoke Section 3 of the amendment, temporarily transferring his powers to Vice President Dick Cheney. The medical procedure began at 7:09 a.m. EDT and ended at 7:29 a.m. EDT. Bush woke up twenty minutes later, but did not resume his presidential powers and duties until 9:24 a.m. EDT after the president’s physician, Richard Tubb, conducted an overall examination. Tubb said he recommended the additional time to make sure the sedative had no aftereffects. Unlike Reagan’s 1985 letter, Bush’s 2002 letter specifically cited Section 3 as the authority for the transfer of power.[32]

2007: Dick Cheney

On July 21, 2007, President Bush again invoked Section 3 in response to having to undergo a colonoscopy, temporarily transferring his powers to Vice President Cheney. President Bush invoked Section 3 at 7:16 a.m. EDT. He reclaimed his powers at 9:21 a.m. EDT. As happened in 2002, Bush specifically cited Section 3 when he transferred the Presidential powers to the Vice President and when he reclaimed those powers.[32]

Considered Section 4 invocations

There have been two instances in which invoking Section 4 of the Twenty-fifth Amendment was considered. Both involved the 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan.

1981: Reagan assassination attempt

Following the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan on March 30, 1981, Vice President George H. W. Bush did not assume the presidential powers and duties as Acting President. Reagan was unable to invoke Section 3, because he was in surgery. Bush did not invoke Section 4, because he was on a plane returning from Texas. Reagan was out of surgery by the time Bush arrived in Washington.[33] In 1995, Birch Bayh, the primary sponsor of the amendment in the Senate, wrote that Section 4 should have been invoked.[34]

1987: Reagan’s alleged incapacity

Upon becoming the White House Chief of Staff in 1987, Howard Baker was advised by his predecessor’s staff to be prepared for a possible invocation of the Twenty-fifth Amendment[35] due to Reagan’s perceived laziness and ineptitude.[36][37]

According to the PBS program American Experience,

What Baker’s transition team was told by Donald Regan‘s staff that weekend shocked them. Reagan was “inattentive, inept”, and “lazy”, and Baker should be prepared to invoke the 25th Amendment to relieve him of his duties.

Reagan biographer Edmund Morris stated in an interview aired on the program,

The incoming Baker people all decided to have a meeting with him on Monday, their first official meeting with the President, and to cluster around the table in the Cabinet room and watch him very, very closely to see how he behaved, to see if he was indeed losing his mental grip.

Morris went on to explain,

Reagan who was, of course, completely unaware that they were launching a death watch on him, came in stimulated by the press of all these new people and performed splendidly. At the end of the meeting, they figuratively threw up their hands realizing he was in perfect command of himself.[36][37]

See also

References

 

 

Story 3: The Roaring 2020s with The Unstoppable Trump and Pence Boom — Inflation Less Than 1%, U-3 Unemployment Rate Less Than 3%, Economic Growth Rate Exceeding 5% and Labor Participation Rate Exceeding 67% — Real Tax Reform With Fair Tax Less Replacing All Federal Taxes With A Single Broad-based Consumption Tax With A $1,000 Per Month or $12,000 Per Year Tax Prebate For All American Citizens Age 18 and Older — Democratic Socialist Worse Nightmare — 16 Year Peace and Prosperity Presidencies of Trump and Pence — Videos

What’s fueling stock market record highs?

 

Will The Economic Boom Doom The Democrats?

The winners and losers in US tax bill – BBC News

Stock Market BOOMING Under Trump But…

President Trump’s America Booming as Retailers See Historic Rise

 

Americans’ Optimism About Job Market Hit Record High in 2017

by Megan Brenan

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • 56% viewed job market positively in 2017, up from 42% in 2016
  • Confidence in job market buoyed by Republicans since Trump’s inauguration
  • 40% of unemployed adults seeking jobs rated job market as good

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans’ optimism about finding a quality job averaged 56% in 2017, the highest annual average in 17 years of Gallup polling and a sharp increase from 42% in 2016. Coinciding with rising optimism, the U.S. unemployment rate fell from an average 4.9% in 2016 to 4.4% in 2017, the lowest rate since 2000.

GoodTimeQualityJob1_new

Since October 2001, Gallup has asked Americans monthly if it is a good time or a bad time to find a quality job. Historically, Americans’ perceptions of the job market have tracked closely with the monthly unemployment figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. When the unemployment rate is low, public perceptions that it is a good time to find a quality job rise. Conversely, when the unemployment rate is high, views of the job market get worse.

Prior to this year, Americans’ assessments of the job market were most positive in 2007 (43%) at the start of the Great Recession and least positive its last year, 2009 (10%). Since the job market bottomed out in 2009, Americans’ ratings of it have improved steadily, rising to the highest level yet in 2017.

Sharp Republican Reversal on Job Market in 2017

Positivity about jobs among all U.S. adults began to rise on a monthly basis in January 2017, reaching 54% in February 2017. By the end of 2017, it hit 62% in November and again in December. This increase was largely driven by a Republican reversal. The monthly reading for Republicans saying it was a good time to find a quality job rose 20 percentage points to 64% after Donald Trump was inaugurated and ultimately ended 2017 at 78%.

GoodTimeQualityJob2_new

Partisans who identify with the sitting president’s party typically hold more favorable views than those of the opposing party concerning the economy and other national metrics. While the shift in Republicans’ view of the job market was dramatic after Trump’s election and inauguration, the change in Democrats’ opinion of the job market following Barack Obama’s exit from the White House was more modest. This was perhaps because the general consensus at the time was that the economy and job market were in poor shape. Shortly after Trump took office, the percentage of Democrats who said it was a good time to find a quality job fell 10 points to 45%, and was 50% last month.

Demographic Differences in Assessments of Job Market

Several demographic groups were less inclined than others to think 2017 was a good time to find a job, including those who were out of work and trying to find a job, blacks and those in households earning less than $30,000 a year. These are typically Democratic groups and less than half of each of them assessed the job market positively in 2017.

Those employed full time, college graduates and those with annual household incomes of $75,000 or more are among the demographic groups that are most likely to say it is a good time to find a quality job. The assessments of the job market by each of these groups improved by double digits from 2016 to 2017. Additionally, the greatest increase in perception on this issue is among whites (21 points), respondents 50 and older (20 points) and men (18 points), all typically Republican groups.

Percentage in U.S. Saying Now is a Good Time to Find a Quality Job, Yearly Averages by Subgroup
Thinking about the job situation in America today, would you say that it is now a good time or a bad time to find a quality job?
Good time in 2016 Good time in 2017
% %
Gender
Men 44 62
Women 41 51
Party ID
Republican 31 66
Independent 41 55
Democrat 53 49
Age
18-29 55 58
30-49 46 59
50-64 37 57
65+ 30 50
Annual Household Income
Less than $30,000 annual income 38 46
$30,000-less than $75,000 42 54
$75,000 or more 48 66
Race/ethnicity
White 38 59
Black 55 48
Hispanic 49 53
Education
College graduate 48 61
Not a college graduate 39 54
Employment
Employed full-time 50 62
Employed part-time 38 53
Unemployed but looking for work 36 40
GALLUP

Americans in the lowest household income bracket and those unemployed and searching for work are undoubtedly discouraged by their personal situations and therefore are less likely to see it as a good time to find a quality job, even though the unemployment rate is at its lowest point since 2000.

Likewise, black Americans, who experienced record unemployment in December, think the job market is worse than do whites and Hispanics. Yet, unlike those with annual household incomes under $30,000 and the unemployed who are looking for work, blacks and Democrats have grown significantly less positive about the availability of quality jobs since Trump became president. These were the only groups that in 2017 showed a decline in positive ratings compared to 2016.

Bottom Line

Gallup didn’t start gauging the public’s assessment of the job market with the quality jobs question until 2001; thus there are no data to compare against the last time the unemployment rate was as low as it is now. Republicans view the job market much better now than Democrats did during Obama’s presidency. While this overwhelming positivity about the job market by Republicans can certainly be attributed partially to a lower unemployment rate, partisanship also plays a large part.

SURVEY METHODS

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted throughout 2017 with a random sample of 13,185 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±1 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. All reported margins of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting.

Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 70% cellphone respondents and 30% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods.

Learn more about how the Gallup Poll Social Series works.

http://news.gallup.com/poll/225071/americans-optimism-job-market-hit-record-high-2017.aspx

Dimon thinks even his own economist at J.P. Morgan is dead wrong about GDP, predicts 4% U.S. growth

Published: Jan 9, 2018 4:27 p.m. ET

Those were the thoughts of JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon, who offered a forecast for U.S. economic growth that outstrips even some of the more bullish economists.

Speaking during an interview with Fox Business’s Maria Bartiromo on Tuesday, Dimon said the recently signed tax legislation, which cuts the corporate tax rate to 21% from 35%, is likely to support higher levels for the Dow Jones Industrial AverageDJIA, +0.41% the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.13% and the Nasdaq Composite IndexCOMP, +0.09% which have already rung up all-time highs in first several sessions of 2018, after a record-setting rally for the equity benchmarks last year.

ReadDow set to resume record run after taking a breather

Dimon said he expects the “competitive tax rate” to encourage deal-making on Wall Street, pointing to Europe which he said is on pace to grow at a 3% rate. A reading of gross domestic product is slated for Jan. 26.

In the U.S., the economy grew at a 3.1% annual pace in the second quarter and a 3.2% annual rate in the third, according to the Commerce Department, exceeding the postrecession pace of near 2% A fresh estimate of gross domestic product is slated for Jan. 26.

However, few prominent economists are expecting GDP growth to hit a stellar 4% pace this year.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Glenn Hubbard, Columbia Business School dean, said corporate tax cuts aren’t likely to have the stimulative effect many are hoping. “It’s not going to raise us off to 4% GDP growth,” he told the newspaper. “But it’s not going to kill 10,000 people a year.”

Moreover, J.P. Morgan’s chief U.S. economist Michael Feroli’s forecast for early GDP readings lands below his boss’s much loftier expectations, even factoring the tax cuts: “We boosted our 1Q18 real GDP forecast from 2.0% to 2.5%…following the recent passage of the tax package. The changes are set to take effect somewhat earlier than we had anticipated a few weeks ago, and also are more frontloaded than we had expected. As a whole, we look for the package to boost GDP growth by about 0.3%-pt in 2018 and 0.2%-pt in 2019, according to his recent research report.

Still, the J.P. Morgan JPM, +0.07%  CEO is bullish on the prospects for further economic growth, even as the Federal Reserve officials said they are mindful that tax-cuts and other measures could overheat the U.S. economy and are likely to raise borrowing costs to quell growth.

Meanwhile, Dimon also said he regretted calling bitcoin BTCUSD, -1.80% a “fraud”, but also said that he believed that blockchain, or distributed-ledger technology behind cryptocurrencies, is “real” but still thinks that digital assets like the No. 1 digital asset in the world is hyped.

“The issue, he said, is “what the governments are gonna feel about bitcoin as it gets really big, and I just have a different opinion than other people. I’m not interested that much in the subject at all.”

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/dimon-thinks-economists-are-dead-wrong-about-gdp-predicts-4-us-growth-2018-01-09

 

Photo

The annual economic forum takes place in the resort town of Davos high in the Swiss Alps, bringing together more than 2,500 members of the global elite in what has been described as the world’s most high-powered networking event. CreditFabrice Coffrini/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

WASHINGTON — President Trump is expected to attend the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland, in the coming weeks, an administration official said on Tuesday.

In a statement, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, said the president was looking forward to attending the gathering of world leaders and business executives.

“The president welcomes opportunities to advance his America First agenda with world leaders,” Ms. Sanders said. “At this year’s World Economic Forum, the president looks forward to promoting his policies to strengthen American businesses, American industries and American workers.”

Mr. Trump’s planned appearance at an event that is synonymous with wealth and elite prestige comes as he enters the second year of a term he won on a message of economic populism.

Presidents have rarely attended the forum in Davos, in part out of a concern that it would send the wrong message to be rubbing shoulders with some of the world’s richest individuals.

Continue reading the main story

Mr. Trump won the 2016 election in part by attacking elites in the United States and promising to “drain the swamp” in Washington of lobbyists, corporate influence and members of the establishment — the very description of those who regularly attend the Davos forum.

The event in Switzerland is a global symbol of everything that Mr. Trump’s former chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, railed against during the presidential campaign and the first seven months in the administration.

But Mr. Trump has also spent a lifetime as a real estate mogul and television personality seeking to be accepted by the financial and media elite in New York and around the world. His decision to travel to Davos as president may represent his desire to prove that he has achieved that goal.

Some of Mr. Trump’s advisers were befuddled by his planned trip, coming a year after his team decided not to send a representative to the 2017 gathering.

A year into his term, Mr. Trump’s appearance at the forum is certain to highlight the clash between his America First agenda and the more globalist approach of some of America’s closest allies around the world.

Those disagreements have been highlighted during Mr. Trump’s earlier trips abroad, including arguments with European leaders about the need for action to confront climate change. Mr. Trump’s visit to Asia last year underscored his disagreements on trade issues with countries in the region.

Many of the participants at Davos are sure to embrace the globalist views that Mr. Trump has rejected, providing the potential for dramatic disagreements between the president and others at the meeting.

But the event — which often focuses on global economic issues — also will provide Mr. Trump with a platform to boast about the improving American economy, including the rise in the stock market and the low jobless rate.

The president has eagerly claimed credit for the economic improvements during his first year in office, and has predicted that the tax overhaul passed at the end of last year would accelerate those trends.

The annual economic forum takes place in the resort town of Davos high in the Swiss Alps, bringing together more than 3,000 members of the global elite in what has been described as the world’s most high-powered networking event.

Those who attend include journalists and columnists, Hollywood celebrities, researchers, corporate chief executive officers and other business titans, and some heads of state. Former President Bill Clinton attended the forum in 2000 and former president George W. Bush attended a meeting of the Word Economic Forum in Egypt in 2008. But former President Barack Obama did not attend the meetings during the time he was in the White House.

Founded in 1971 by Klaus Schwab, a German economics professor, the forum has become an annual meeting that includes dinners and over 400 panel discussion sessions, largely about world social and economic trends. Officially, it is an academic conference; unofficially it is a global schmoozefest for the rich and powerful.

The conference is still dominated by corporate executives, but the gathering also now attracts world leaders, some of whom use the venue as a way to hold less formal bilateral conversations.

Last year, President Xi Jinping of China attended the forum, which began just days before Mr. Trump’s inauguration, becoming the first Chinese leader to mingle with the corporate and media crowd in the mountain village.

In a speech at the forum, Mr. Xi portrayed his country as a global leader interested in free trade at a time that Mr. Trump was already calling for a turn inward. Mr. Xi challenged the incoming president not to forsake trade with the rest of the world.

“Pursuing protectionism is like locking oneself in a dark room,” Mr. Xi said in Davos last year. “While wind and rain may be kept outside, that dark room will also block light and air. No one will emerge as a winner in a trade war.”

The forum has also become a way to be seen with the growing number of global celebrities; last year, it was attended by Matt Damon and Forest Whitaker, the actors, and the singer Shakira.

Officials with the World Economic Forum, which takes place from January 23 to 26, said they did not know what dates to expect the president to attend. The White House did not say when Mr. Trump would travel there, or say whether he would make other stops on a broader overseas trips.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/09/us/politics/trump-davos-world-economic-forum.html 

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1003, November 20, 2017, Story 1: The Great Outing of Sexual Abusers in Big Lie Media and Congress — The CREEP List Grows Longer and Longer — Abuse of Power — Videos — Story 2: A Two Charlie Day — Charlie Rose, Should Be Fired By CBS, and Charlie Manson, Dead At 83, Should Have Been Executed By State of California — Videos

Posted on November 20, 2017. Filed under: American History, Assault, Blogroll, Breaking News, Communications, Computers, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Desertion, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Elections, Employment, First Amendment, Fourth Amendment, Freedom of Speech, Government Spending, Hate Speech, Health, Hillary Clinton, History, Homicide, House of Representatives, Movies, Networking, News, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, President Trump, Progressives, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Rule of Law, Second Amendment, Security, Senate, Surveillance/Spying, Taxation, Taxes, Terror, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Wealth, Weather, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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